Dr. Jimlas Ogunsakin, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Public Health, made the clarification at a media briefing in Ado Ekiti on Thursday.
Ogunsakin’s clarification followed fears in some quarters that the AstraZeneca vaccine being administered in the country could manifest lethal signs on recipients.
He also disclosed that a total of 50,000 persons would be vaccinated in the first phase of the exercise, with frontline medical and public officers benefiting first, before people at the local level.
The SSA said that part of the doses had been deployed to the 16 Local Government Areas in the state to be administered on residents.
He said: “As you have known, AstraZeneca vaccine has arrived Nigeria and four million doses were brought in.
“Ekiti got 100,000 doses to vaccinate 50,000 people because each person will take two doses within 10 to 12 weeks interval.
“Top government functionaries, including Governor Kayode Fayemi, have been vaccinated. In totality, 280 persons have so far been vaccinated with none manifesting adverse effects from the immunization.
“Let it be known that every drug has side effects, but nobody has reported any strange signs, except those with a little bit of high temperature and little pain which subsided easily.
“However, we have planned for any likely adverse reaction and we have trained our medical staff on how best to respond to this," he said.
Ogunsaki added that the government knew that the doses bought can’t take care of the three million Ekiti population, but this is the first phase. Ekiti was one of the first of 11 states to take the vaccine.
“Before the arrival of the vaccine, Ekiti had established a molecular laboratory and solar storage equipment, which were part of the requirements to get the vaccine by states.”
Ogunsakin said the state government had ordered that immunization in the rural areas would begin on March 22, 2021.
The Head, Ekiti COVID-19 Task Force, described the advent of the pandemic as a blessing in disguise to the state, considering the gains that the government’s steps have added to the health sector.
“It was during COVID-19 pandemic that Ekiti set up a molecular laboratory and renovated the Oba Adejugbe General Hospital in Ado Ekiti that was majorly used as our isolation center.
“In the heat of the pandemic, Ekiti had 853 reported cases of the infection, while 1200 persons were quarantined.
“A total of 773 persons were discharged safe and sound while we recorded 10 deaths. We are still managing some people till today,” he said.
He said that to prevent the spread of the disease in the state, the government shut the premises of some private ventures violating COVID-19 protocols while some other violators were prosecuted.
Ogunsakin added that the current administration had renovated and equipped several primary and secondary healthcare facilities.
He added that the government also trained and employed medical personnel as well as implemented the State Health Insurance Scheme to achieve universal coverage.