HomeHealthLagos must vaccinate 14m people to achieve herd immunity –Commissioner

Lagos must vaccinate 14m people to achieve herd immunity –Commissioner

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Lara Adejoro

The Lagos State Ministry of Health says it will need to vaccinate about 14 million people to achieve herd immunity in the state.

The ministry, however, said it is working with the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 to strengthen its response to the pandemic with a resolve to mitigate the possibility of a third wave.

The government made this known in a statement made available to PUNCH HealthWise by the Director, Public Affairs at the state health ministry, Mr. Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, and signed by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi.

According to the statement, Lagos state has tested 495,339 COVID-19 samples, with 58,975 of these samples confirmed positive.

Abayomi disclosed that 54,426 patients have recovered from the viral infection in the community while there are still 274 active cases in the community, adding that of the 58,975 confirmed cases, 356 deaths were, unfortunately, recorded. These amount to a death rate of 0.6 percent, as of May 27, 2021, he said.

Recall that Lagos state commenced its vaccination campaign on March 12. So far, a total of 317,916 people have been vaccinated with the first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. 

“This means that 1.32 percent of the state’s population have received the first dose,” Abayomi said. 

Adding, he said, “On Friday the 28th of May 2021, we commenced the administration of the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine. 

“Given the requirement for achieving herd immunity (60 percent of total population vaccinated), Lagos State still needs to vaccinate about 14 million people to reach this target, as is actively happening in many parts of the world, to collectively eradicate this global pandemic.”

On the COVID-19 vaccination strategy, the commissioner said the government is considering several channels, including discussions with the Federal Government and the Private Sector, to ramp up the vaccination numbers.

He also noted that the administration of the second dose is in continuation of Phase one COVID-19 vaccination that started on the 12th of March 2021. 

“For anyone to be fully vaccinated, two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine are required with an interval of 6-12 weeks. The second dose will be administrated on working days (Monday to Friday) across our approved 88 health facilities till the 9th of July 2021.

“I, therefore, implore citizens who have received their first dose to proceed to the health facilities where they got their first dose on their scheduled appointment dates, which are clearly stated on the vaccination card that was issued. They are also advised to avoid overcrowding and overwhelming the health workers by staggering their arrival at the vaccination site from between 8 am to 1 pm. 

“I would like to reiterate that every vaccinated person should visit the health facility where they got their first dose with their vaccination cards so that the process is seamless, and their data accurately captured.

“We would like to remind all persons who visit the health facilities to continue to adhere to the infection prevention and control measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. We must continue to wear our face masks in public, avoid large crowds and practise good hand and respiratory hygiene until about 60 percent of our population has been vaccinated to achieve herd immunity,” he said.

Continuing, the commissioner said regardless of the reduction in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, many countries are still experiencing a vicious second and third wave of the pandemic. 

“The rising number of cases around the world is largely a result of new variants of the virus that are more contagious. 

“As part of the strategies to curb the third wave, the Lagos State Government will carry out the following activities: ramp up testing and ensure all travelers carry out COVID-19 Tests; utilise EKOTELEMED to monitor confirmed cases and provide telemedicine services; enforce non-pharmaceutical Interventions, i.e., hand washing, social distancing, thresholds for public gathering, discourage super spreader events.

“Ramping up its oxygen supply and logistics management; apply the new guidelines as published by the COVID-19 PSC for all inbound travelers into the country from India, Brazil and Turkey,” Abayomi said.

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