By Iduozee Paul Benin
Participants at the COVID-19 stakeholders meeting
The World Health Organizations (WHO) and some health experts have appealed to Edo People to come out to be vaccinated to avoid being infected by the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging some nation across the globe.
The health professionals made the statement at a stakeholders’ meeting organized in Benin City, to find out why majority of the people in the state are not coming out for COVID-19 vaccination.
They said the number of people who have not taken the vaccine is higher than those who have taken the vaccine, according to the statistics available to them.
Addressing participants at the stakeholders meeting, the executive director, Edo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ESPHDA), Mrs. Julie Erabor, appealed to Edo People to come out enmass to be vaccinated against the third wave of Coronavirus, which is already ravaging India, Brazil and some countries in Europe.
Giving the current figure of the number of people who have been vaccinated in Edo State, the Community and Family Health educator, ESPHDA, Dr. Stanley Ehiarianwan, said a total of 43,843 have been vaccinated.
He explained that those who have not taken the Covid-19 vaccine are much and appealed to Edo citizens to come and take the vaccine. He said the third wave of the Covid-19 virus is killing many people in other countries.
WHO representative, Chief (Mrs.) Aigbojie Winifred, said they should be prepared for the third wave of Coronavirus by ensuring that people follow all the guidelines of Covid-19 protocols to avoid contracting the virus.
Aigbojie said:”We should tell our people to go and take the Covid-19 vaccine. We must protect ourselves and make sure nobody contact the virus.
“The aim of WHO is for everybody to live in good health. It is a disease that we can prevent. Let us continue to wear our face masks, use hand sanitizer, wash hand with soap, and maintain social distance.”
In his presentation, the representative of Edo State Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Pius Omonigwe, said the stakeholders meeting was convened to involve influential people who can go to the grass roots to tell the people to take the vaccine.
Dr. Omonigwe said:”In this stakeholders meeting, we thought of bringing people who have influence and can talk to people at the grassroots to take the first douse of the Covid-19 vaccine. “We understand that people have to take this vaccine because that is the only way we can suppress the transmission of Covid-19 in Nigeria as it’s done in other parts of the world.
“We don’t want to hear that because of rumors, misconceptions and conspiracy theories that have not been proved by science, people are not taking the vaccine.
“The message is to dialogue with people, see and know their experience about misconceptions about the vaccine, and to discuss together and share ideas on the way forward,” said Dr. Omonigwe.
Risk Communication Pillar lead, Irene Uabor, said, the meeting objective is to ensure that in subsequent vaccination phases, people will come out en mass to embrace the exercise.
Uabor said:”This vaccine is the first phase roll-out for frontline health workers. They’re mostly health workers, media, military and others. It is going to be in four phases.
“The second phase is for the elderly people, those from 50 years and above. People above 50 years are susceptible to COVID-19 disease. They get sick quick when they are infected. They can die easily if proper treatment is not given to them.
“For the third phase, are for people from 18 to 49 years. They can be infected and can die if proper treatment is not given to them. The fourth phase is for the rest of the population.”
She explained that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and that government has already paid for the vaccine, adding that at the beginning of the vaccine exercise people were afraid.