COVID-19 Vaccine: Plateau Govt receives 105,000 doses of COVAX

The Plateau Government says it has received 105,600 doses of vaccine from the 3.94 million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shipped to Nigeria by COVAX facility on March 2.

The Secetary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, confirmed this on Wednesday in Jos while inspecting the vaccine at the Prime Cold Chain located at the state secretariat.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that global COVAX scheme was established to ensure poor and middle income countries get access to innoculations.

“We assure you that Plateau Government and its technical team are prepared for this and we hope that as soon as we finalise all aspects of training, we would commence the vaccination,” Atu said.

He said health workers were being trained on the admistration of the vaccine to ensure efficiency in their discharge of duties.

“We want to make sure they are well trained and equipped for the process so that we finalise all aspects of training and preparations to that effect.

“This process would take about four phases; the first phase would directly involve those who are frontline workers and critcal members of the task team and other stakeholders that work directly with the people,” he said.

Atu explained that the vaccine administration task team work plan would involve of Plateau people on the vaccine to debunk various conspiracy theories.

“One of the major pillars of the work plan is engaging people right from the top to the bottom and vice versa to ensure everybody is carried along and to reassure people, the technical team would give us all the technical mechanism of the vaccine and it’s workability,” he said.

He thanked the United Nations International Emergency (UNICEF) and the World Health Organisation for their support in ensuring the safe arrival of the vaccine.

He also thanked the partners for preparing health workers to be engaged in administering the vaccine to the people.

The state Commisioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, said the vaccines were made to be stored at temperature of 2 to 8 degree celcius, saying the state government has cold chains in all its 17 local government areas.

He said the process of administration was continous, saying the first stage was for Frontline workers, their supporting staff and strategic leadership, while subsequent stages are for those above 50 years, the people with core morbidities and the general population.

He explained that the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine would be administered in two doses, saying “they would give you a dose then 12 weeks later, they would give you another dose”.

The commisioner further explained that the vaccine was mainly to prevent severe infection of COVID-19 leading to death.

“So it means you still have to wear your mask and observe all those non-pharmaceutical protocols for you not to get infected, but it would protect you from the severe form of disease,” he said.

NAN reports that modalities for administration of the vaccine was for frontline health workers and strategic leadership for the first stage, the second stage involves administering to individuals above 50 years.

The other stages involves administering to individuals from the age of 18 to 49 with relevant medical condition, while the last stage is for ages of 18 to 49 without relevant medical conditions. (NAN)

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