Health workers and stakeholders in the health sector have been told to educate the people on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine.
This was contained in a release by OSPHCDA which was signed by its Press Officer, Mr. Ayo Falana, and made available to the media.
In the release, the Permanent Secretary of OSPHCDA, Francis Adegoke Akanbiemu, also thanked Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) for not only accepting the vaccine in the state but also leading his family to take the vaccine in Ondo State.
The Permanent Secretary of Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA), Dr Francis Akanbiemu said this at a one day sensitization meeting on emerging issues and COVAX Hesitancy
Akanbiemu said delay or refusal to take COVID-19 vaccine (vaccine hesitancy) was a problem that all “stakeholders must come together to tackle through aggressive education and sensitization of the people, noting that the vaccine has no harmful effect as being peddled in some quarters.”
Also, the UNICEF C4D Specialist, Mrs Aderonke Akinola and the state Health Educator, Mrs Yetunde Akinyosoye said the meeting held to review the previous round of COVID-19 vaccination and to fashion a way forward to tackle the challenges encountered during the campaign.
The press release noted:
“Speaking on the feedback on Covid-19 vaccination in Ondo state the Director, Disease Control and Immunization, Dr Adefesoye said Ondo state took delivery of 73,570 doses in March 2021 as first phase while a total of 36,631 first doses have been administered noting the second doses will be administered to only beneficiaries of first doses in June.
“Adefesoye who enumerated some challenges confronted during the administration of the first doses to include initial internet failure, hesitancy among target population, intrusion of non-targeted population among others, commended the state government for the political will and leadership support received by the Agency during the vaccination exercise.
“Also speaking the Director, Community Health Services and education , Dr Abiona urged participants at the meeting to sensitize the people and dispell the rumours that the vaccine contains chemicals, that it causes genetic defects or is a government plan to reduce population, saying they are all unfounded.”
On the issue of blood clot, Dr Abiona said it was an extremely rare event that had never been reported among vaccinated Nigerians. Furthermore, he said consensus among health and medicine regulatory agencies was that the benefits of taking the COVID-19 vaccine far outweighs the risk of blood clots being reported.
The release continued:
“Dr. Abiona decried the use social media to propagate falsehood, urging users to always cross check their facts before sending them to other platforms.
“After an extensive deliberations and suggestions, stakeholders agreed to embark on senstization of people at their domains to ensure quality partipation during the next phase(s).”
In attendance at the meeting were Ondo state social mobilisation committee members, LGA Health Educators and LGA NOA COMOs from 8 local government areas of the state with low coverage of less than 80% during the first round of Phase 1 COVID-19 vaccination, religious leaders, media as well as opinion molders.