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Health News of Thursday, 21 April 2022

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

Coronavirus: Ekiti to vaccinate 1.5m, targets HIV/AIDS patients

File photo to illustrate the story File photo to illustrate the story

The Ekiti State Government yesterday commenced mass vaccination of residents against the COVID-19, with a mission to reach a total of 1.5 million eligible population.

The State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oyebanji Filani, said this, at a One -stop Surge Mass Vaccination Programme for the general population and People Living with HIV/AIDS.

Filani noted that the mass vaccination exercise was a partnership between Ekiti State government and Public Health Initiatives as well as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The commissioner revealed that various injectable COVID-19 vaccines like Johnson and Johnson, Moderna and Astrazeneca are available to be administered on the beneficiaries.

Filani said: “The collaboration with other agencies will make it possible to vaccinate 70 per cent of the total eligible population of Ekiti State out of the 2.4 million population.

“We are seeing a new strain of COVID-19, which makes it expedient that many people should be vaccinated. We have a single dose vaccine that one can just take and consider it a full dose and the process is painless.

“The national standard and directive is to ensure that over 70 per cent of the population are rapidly vaccinated before June. We have 0.4 per cent in HIV spread in Ekiti, all of whom are on Anti-retroviral Drugs and we will make sure that people living with this disease get their COVID-19 vaccines.”

Dispelling fears that the ongoing electioneering campaigns could fuel the spread of COVID-19 in Ekiti, Filani assured that the government was going to manage the process, by ensuring that people comply with the wearing of nosemasks and adhere strictly to other safety protocols.

In her submissions, the representative of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Bunmi Ajayi, said COVID-19 is a global emergency disease and that the international body was interested in the upscaling of vaccination for safety.

She added: “The records from the Western world showed that the disease spread is increasing, so we must do constant routine immunisation. Also, there should be an upscale of vaccination for measles, yellow fever and others, to achieve health immunity in the state.”

The Programme Manager, Ekiti State Committee on HIV/AIDS, Dr. Charles Doherty, stated that 20 team of vaccinators had been composed to cover 20 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, to spearhead the programme.

Doherty added that, “By the time the programme will end, Ekiti must have hit the national target, which is to vaccinate over 70 per cent of the population before the end of June, 2022.”