By PATRICK OCHOGA, Benin City
The Edo State Government has dispelled rumours around COVID-19 vaccines safety, ahead of the official flag-off of the 10-Day campaign of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines jab by Governor Godwin Obaseki this week.
The Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, disclosed this at a Press briefing on the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines in the State.
He said that the vaccines which are being considered to have adverse effects elsewhere are not among the 81,080 batch of doses of vaccines in Nigeria, adding that no resident of the State will be compelled to take the vaccines.
“First and foremost, we have had significant and impressive feelings that many persons want to take the vaccines as well the fact that we have also had some people with a different opinion that they do not want to take the vaccines because of some innate fears that are not really medically justified.
“However, from that we have planned out in the Country and in the State, there is no compulsion that people mistake the vaccines. It is self-registration. You have to register before you can take the vaccines. Invariably, nobody will be arrested and compelled to take the vaccines”, he said.
The Permanent Secretary emphasized that the State Government has outlined health workers, religious leaders and other key players as the first batch of people that the vaccines would be administered to from the first batch of 81,080 doses of vaccines.
On her part, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Edo State, Mrs. Faith Ireye, said all the necessary logistics had been put in place for a hitch-free exercise at the designated temporary fixed posts and Primary Healthcare Centres in the State.
Also speaking, the Director of Primary Healthcare in the State Ministry of Health, Dr. David Dakko, appealed to the Media to help raise awareness on the efficacy of the vaccines as well as their safety.
He said: “We will need the Press to help us to dispel some of the rumours that are going around so that people would be at peace.
“There are a lot of rumours that are going around, almost all of them are unfounded. And over time, if a lot of us take the vaccines, it will look as if we are developing herd immunity. So, we can now all go out safely such that life can now return back as normal”, he stressed.