Lagos residents have refused to visit COVID-19 vaccination centres as fears mount over the after-effect of the vaccine, an investigation by SaharaReporters has revealed.
The state government had on Tuesday released the list of centres for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the state.
In a statement, the state commissioner for health, Dr Akin Abayomi, had said the vaccination can only be obtained at the listed health facilities, which include military and police hospitals.
The centres are located across 20 Local Government Areas in the state.
He said vaccination outside of these locations in Lagos state is highly prohibited and will attract heavy sanctions through regulatory agencies.
But investigation revealed Lagos residents have ignored the vaccination centres across the state amid fears over the vaccine.
When SaharaReporters visited the Isheri Olofin Primary Health Care Centre along Isheri-Igando Road, it was gathered that there was a campaign targeted at sensitising the public to defuse misleading information regarding the use of the vaccine.
The campaign, which ran from March 15 to Wednesday, March 17, it was gathered, was targeted at four groups of people.
The first phase is targeted at health care workers, military personnel, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, policemen, petrol station workers and strategic leaders.
The second phase is directed at older adults aged 50 years and above; 18 to 49 years with co-morbidities and other eligible population as the vaccine becomes available.
A nurse, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said it is ideal for all citizens to be sensitised to the importance of vaccination.
She said health workers, like herself, have been vaccinated and never experienced any form of adverse health issue.
“Once you are 18 years and above, you are eligible for the vaccine. Those rumours people share are untrue and unfounded. I have been vaccinated and every adult with no co-morbidities can take the vaccine.
“We are not vaccinating children yet. If we are to vaccinate someone less than 18 years old, and such a person has asthma or any other condition, we get their medical reports before we vaccinate them.
“The adults with asthma and diabetes have to submit their medical record before we vaccinate them. Every adult without morbidities should come and take the vaccine.”
Several countries of the world have banned the AstraZeneca vaccine whilst Nigeria commences vaccination across the board.
The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) banned nationwide the use of a batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to “serious adverse events” after inoculation.
The agency said in a statement the ban targets batch ABV2856, adding it may consider additional measures, if needed, in coordination with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).