Lagos begins vaccination of essential workers

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Only those who fit into Phase One of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Lagos State are welcome at the approved sites from Monday, the government has warned.

Such persons include healthcare workers, COVID-19 Response Team, ports of entry staff, laboratory network, judiciary, military, police, other security agencies, petrol station workers, teachers, press, and other frontline workers, as well as those who are 70 years above.

The Commissioner for Health in Lagos, Professor Akin Abayomi, stated this on Sunday after reviewing the report of the week long phase one vaccination rollout campaign in the state.

He hinted that the exercise begins on Monday at the 88 approved vaccination sites across the state after the weekend break.

Abayomi urged the eligible persons to observe and ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and instructions given by officials when they visit the vaccination sites.

He advised them to maintain a social distance of at least two meters, wear a face mask, and ensure proper hand hygiene at the centres.

While noting that the protocols were still in place, especially at public places and events requiring the gathering of people, the Commissioner stated that security personnel have been stationed at the sites to provide security, maintain order, and ensure adherence to the guidelines.

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“We understand that there is a great demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in Lagos, leading to an increase in activities at our various vaccination sites; this has brought to fore the need to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, as well as accountability and security for officials, citizens and the cold chain mechanism at the sites,” he said.

The commissioner added, “We want to avoid crowding and the resultant spread of the COVID-19 infection at the vaccination sites; this is why we are appealing to persons who are not categorised in phase one of the vaccination exercise to keep off the vaccination sites.

“It is, therefore, important to reiterate that the state government through the Ministry of Health remains committed to preventing COVID-19 infection and will not encourage a scenario where people are vulnerable to the transmission through overcrowded vaccination centres.

“Lagosians should be patient, we will vaccinate everybody eventually, but there is the need for citizens to support the government by following the vaccination implementation plan to ensure a successful exercise. We plan to vaccinate this year into 2022.”

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Abayomi also urged eligible citizens who fit into Phase One of the vaccination exercise to pre-register for the vaccine via https://www.nphcdaict.com.ng or https://www.vaccination.gov.ng before proceeding to any of the sites for a quick and seamless process.

On the safety and side effects of the vaccine, the Commissioner for Health stated that the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine has been declared safe by the World Health Organization and okayed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control for administration.

Abayomi said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, like others, have some common side effects which typically only last for 24 to 48 hours. He listed some of the common adverse events that could be experienced to include pain or tenderness at the injection site, tiredness, chills, joint pains, headache, fever, muscle pain, and nausea.