Lagos State Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi has argued that the AstraZeneca vaccine has largely proven effective against hospitalisation and deaths.
He urged Lagos residents that it’s important “for you to take it”.
Abayomi said this at the COVID-19 Vaccine Summit organised by Global Emerging Pathogen Treatment (GET) Consortium held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Conference, Alausa, Lagos.
The event tagged, “COVID-19 Vaccine’s Administration in Nigeria: Strategies to manage perception and overcome hesitancy”, brought together medical experts, civil society groups and government representatives.
The commissioner said: “As a responsible government, the Incident Commander, Mr. Governor himself, has taken the vaccine; the Deputy Incident Commander, the Deputy Governor, has taken it. I have taken it, and the entire leadership of the state government have taken it, in demonstration of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
“This is we believe is in further demonstration of our leadership by example to you. Hence, I recommend you go all out to subscribe to the vaccine. The essence is to help us build Herd Immunity that would prevent vulnerability and deaths.”
Abayomi, however, said “AstraZeneca vaccines did not go through clinical trial in Africa; we don’t know its efficacy and side effect profile of these vaccines”.
He added that as the vaccine doses are rolled out in Africa, “we must monitor its efficacy and ensure its does not have any short-term or long term detrimental effects on our people”.
He noted that one of the measures to check the second validation of the vaccines include a second laboratory certification process, via the nation’s National Food and Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NAFDAC) and holistic integrity checks and reinforcement of the nation’s cold-chain infrastructure.
Abayomi said Lagos State carries the burden of the virus since the outbreak of the virus and survived two waves.
“Some countries are not as lucky as they have gone through the third and fourth waves of the pandemic,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MotherGold Consulting Dr. Adesina Fagbenro identified fear of the side effect of the vaccines, distrust of commercial interest, racial experience in some countries, personal choice vs collective responsibility, alternative use and insufficient evidence as some of the factors making the people hesitant to take the vaccines.
SOUCRE: THE NATION