By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
The Kwara Government on Friday commenced the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination, which would be conducted across the 16 local government areas (LGAs) of the state.
Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazak of Kwara said at the inauguration of the campaign that the vaccination would also be conducted in four phases.
He stated that the initiative was a milestone in the national response to the fight against the dreaded pandemic.
Abdulrazak reiterated that the State Government would always prioritise the health of the citizenry, while urging them to endeavour to get the vaccine.
Dr Nusirat Elelu, the Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency, had earlier said the vaccine arrived the state on March 9, adding that 55,790 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines were received.
She stated that prior to the arrival of the vaccines to Kwara, a State Technical Working Group had been activated, with membership drawn from relevant stakeholders to serve as advisory to the state government.
According to her, the committee will carry out necessary implementation activities in preparation for the deployment of the vaccines.
“Furthermore, State level Training of Trainers (STOT) have also been concluded, while the LGA cascade trainings are presently ongoing across all the 16 LGAs and will be concluded today, for it to commence implementation as soon as possible,” she said.
She explained that the COVID-19 vaccine campaign would be conducted in four phase, adding that for phase one, the state will target healthcare workers, other front liners and strategic leaders.
“The campaign will last 10 days and would be available at the designated primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities.
“It will be given in two doses at 12 weeks interval. The vaccine is painless and would be administered on the left upper arm.
“A vaccination card with personal information and date of next vaccination will be issued,” she said.
She recalled that the state government approved the replacement of of the two cooling units, cold-room and the repair of the older ones as standby.
Elelu stated that the governor had also approved the procurement of a 45KVA standby generator to ensure constant power supply to the cold rooms.
“Additional deep freezers have also been procured for the 16 LGAs and the state cold room to enhance freezing of ice packs to support the transport of vaccines to the hinterlands in Kwara state,” she said.
Dr Abubakar Ayinla, the Permanent Secretary, Kwara Ministry of Health, stated that the healthcare workers and support staff had jointly ensured that all aspect of service delivery were sustained irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kwara state is one of the foremost states that met the requirement for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The state is counted among the highly responsive states in the country,” he said.
Dr Femi Oladiji, the Chairman, Technical Working Committee on COVID-19, also said that the first shot was to boost the immunity of the body to a certain level.
Oladiji, who was the first frontline worker to receive the vaccine in Kwara, explained that the body’s immune system developed antibodies that fought the particular germ and kept the person from getting sick from the disease.
He urged residents o take the vaccine, adding that he felt good after taking the vaccine. (NAN)