Edo government, on Friday, released guidelines for the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in the state, following the arrival of the first batch of 81, 080 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state received its allotment of the vaccines, meant for about 40,000 persons in the state, from the Federal Government on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at about 8:25 pm.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Osamwonyi Irowa, while addressing journalists on Friday in Benin, said the roll-out of the vaccines would be in four phases.
Irowa noted that the administration of the first phase, scheduled for frontline health workers, their supporting staff, and strategic leaders in the state, would commence on Monday, March, 15.
He said, “His Excellency, the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, will officially flag off the 10-day campaign on 15th March 2021 at the New Festival Hall Government House, here in Benin City.”
Irowa said frontline healthcare workers had an additional job-related risk of getting infected by the virus, adding, “the administration of the vaccines to them is of top priority.”
According to him, “The Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the state will be rolled out in phases.
“This first phase will be administered to frontline workers, after an electronic self-registration.
“While the second, third, and fourth phases will include administering these vaccines to the elderly, those between 18-49 years with co-morbidities and the rest of the eligible population between the ages of 18-49 years respectively.
“This will enable us to avoid crowding at vaccination posts as the registered health care workers will be scheduled and reminded of their vaccination date via SMS and e-mail.”
Irowa reassured Edo people of the government’s readiness for the rollout of the vaccine.
According to him, as part of the preparation for the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in the state, healthcare workers have been duly trained at national and state levels.
He added that the same training was being cascaded to the local government level, where the vaccines would be administered.
“Also, all the key materials and consumables for the vaccination are being distributed appropriately to ensure successful implementation of the vaccination campaign in the state.
“The various fixed posts for the vaccination, spread across the 18 LGAs have been identified and these locations will be adequately disseminated to the general public for ease of access.
“Be aware, therefore, that COVID-19 vaccines in the state are safe, effective and they will be administered free of charge,” said Irowa.
He explained that healthcare workers would be available at vaccination posts to give answers to questions relating to the safety and management of possible side effects of the vaccine.
“I urge all eligible citizens to be patient, as everyone in the designated groups will eventually get vaccinated. As the vaccines arrive in batches, Edo citizens will be informed on how to receive them.
“While the vaccines will give long-lasting protection against coronavirus infection when the complete doses are given, in the meantime let us continue to adhere to all the general preventive measures already instituted.
“I, therefore, appeal to citizens of Edo State, healthcare workers, other front liners, and all strategic leaders, to make sure this vaccination exercise is successful by ensuring that they are vaccinated,” he said.