The Commissioner of Health for Ekiti State, Dr Oyebanji Filani, on Wednesday, has said the new strains of COVID-19 have made it imperative for citizens to get vaccinated so as to protect themselves and others from the virus.
Filani, who spoke in Ado Ekiti at the inauguration of ‘One -Stop Surge Mass Vaccination Programme’ which heralded mass vaccination of residents against COVID-19 disease, said it was targeted at reaching about 1.68m residents that represented 70 per cent of the 2.4million population of the state.
He said the ongoing mass vaccination was also targeted at people living with HIV in the state.
The commissioner, who noted that the mass vaccination was a partnership between the state and the Public Health Initiatives and Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said various COVID-19 vaccines such as Johnson and Johnson, Moderna and Astrazeneca were available to be administered on the beneficiaries.
Filani stated, “The collaboration with other agencies will make it possible to vaccinate 70 per cent of the total eligible population of the state.
“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 a full dose and the process is painless.
“The national standard and directive is to ensure that over 70 per cent of the population is rapidly vaccinated before June.
“We have 0.4 per cent of HIV spread in Ekiti State, all of whom are on Antiretroviral Drugs, and we will make sure that people living with this disease get their COVID-19 vaccines.”
Filani assured that the would manage the process of mass vaccination by ensuring that people complied with the wearing of nose masks and adhere strictly to other safety protocols.
The representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr Bunmi Ajayi, stated, “The record from the Western world showed that the disease spread is increasing, so we must do constant routine immunisation. 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 teams of vaccinators had been provided to cover 20 local and council development areas to spearhead the programme.
Doherty stated, “By the time the programme will end, Ekiti State must have hit the national target, which is to vaccinate over 70 per cent of the population before the end of June, 2022.”
Contact: [email protected]