Edo rolls out modalities, phases for COVID-19 vaccination …urges frontline health workers, others on self-registration – Nigerian Observer

The Edo State Government, on Friday, released modalities and phases for the roll out of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine in the state, following the arrival of the first batch of 81, 080 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

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, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, while addressing journalists in Benin City, the state capital, disclosed that the roll-out of the vaccines will be in four (4) phases.

Irowa noted that the administration of the first phase, scheduled for frontline health workers, their supporting staff and strategic leaders in the State, will commence on Monday, 15th March, 2021.

He said, “His Excellency, the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki will officially flag off the 10-days campaign on 15th March, 2021 at the New Festival Hall Government House, here in Benin City.”

Irowa said healthcare workers, especially the front line healthcare workers have an additional job-related risk of getting infected by the virus, adding, “the administration of the vaccines to them is of top priority.”

He stated: “The Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the state will be rolled out in phases. This first phase will be administered to front line 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.”

Reassuring of the government’s readiness for the roll out of the vaccine, Irowa added, “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 and the same trainings are being cascaded to the local government and the facilities level, where the vaccines will 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.”

He continued: “Be aware therefore, that COVID-19 vaccines in the state are safe, effective and they will be administered free of charge. Healthcare workers will be available at vaccination posts to give answers to questions relating to the vaccine safety and management of possible side effects.

“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, health care workers, other front liners and all strategic leaders, to make sure this vaccination exercise is successful by ensuring that they are vaccinated.

“Vaccinators will be in several designated health facilities and temporary fixed posts to vaccinate patients. Do bear in mind that after vaccination, all COVID-l9 guidelines should still be adhered to, to avoid a possible re-infection,” he said.

On his part, Edo State Director, Primary Health Care, Dr David Odiko, urged many citizens to avail themselves for the vaccination.

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