Sunday, August 1, 2021

Lagos shuts down COVID-19 centers, suspends vaccination

The Lagos State government has shut down all its COVID-19 vaccination centers on conclusion of the first phase of the exercise.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said in a statement on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 that 257,756 people have been vaccinated in the state.

The shutdown is in compliance with the directive of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) for states to suspend vaccination once half of their current supply has been administered.

The NPHCDA’s directive is to ensure that those who received the first dose will have an opportunity for the second dose, as uncertainties remain over Nigeria’s ability to get more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine after receiving 3.92 million doses in March.

Abayomi said the remaining doses of the total 507,000 received by Lagos have been reserved at the state’s Cold Chain Store for the second dose exercise.

Those who have been vaccinated can start receiving their second doses from May 28, in line with the manufacturer’s proposed 8-12 weeks interval between doses.

“Residents are encouraged to check their vaccination cards for their next appointment dates and where possible to try to go to the same health facilities where they got their initial dose for their second dose,” he said.

The commissioner said those who already received their first doses don’t need to pre-register before going to receive the second doses.

People who qualified for the first phase were health workers, and other frontline workers including security agents, ports of entry staff, judiciary, journalists, petrol station workers, contingency workers, and strategic leaders.

Willing pensioners, people aged 70 and above, and teachers were also encouraged to receive the doses.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has encountered troubles abroad, especially in Europe where vaccinated people have developed blood clots.

No clear link has been established, but some countries have restricted its use or entirely stopped administering it to their citizens.

Abayomi said only a few people vaccinated in Lagos experienced adverse effects with the most common complaints being pain at the injection site, fever or body pains lasting 24 to 48 hours, and anaphylactic shock.

He noted that two cases are being investigated for possible blood coagulation disorders.

The commissioner appealed to all Lagosians, regardless of vaccination status, to continue to adhere to the safety measures to curb the spread of the virus which has infected nearly 145 million people globally.

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