Amid the ongoing public misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine, the Oyo State COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has appealed to residents of the state to take the vaccine in order to curb the spread of the virus.
Speaking at an interactive session with the media on Wednesday, the Incident Manager of the EOC, Dr Taiwo Ladipo, said although the number of COVID-19 cases are going down but the threat of an upsurge still remains.
He said that for a state or country to kick the virus out, 80 per cent of the population must have been vaccinated against the virus.
“In Oyo State, the percentage of people that have taken the vaccine is very small when compared to the population. About 75,000 people have been vaccinated out of a population of almost 9 million. We need to encourage our people to take the vaccine,” he said.
While noting that few people reported cases of reaction after taking the vaccine, the Incident Manager said the adverse effect of the vaccine are mild, adding that people should not be scared because of that.
“399 people reported reaction following immunisation. Only one was a serious reaction, the others are non-serious reaction,” Oladipo said.
According to him, the focus of Oyo State now is on surveillance at sentinel sites to monitor trend; monitoring of test results of international travellers; mass screening exercise using rapid test kits; vaccination campaign and routine response activities.
He, however, urged everyone to get set to be vaccinated during the next round of COVID -19 vaccination exercise in the state.
Speaking, Oyo State Diseases Surveillance Notification Officer,Mrs Titilope Akinleye, said there is availability of Rapid Test Kits in the state, which implies that results of COVID-19 tests would be ready within an hour.
She said some of the factors increasing risk of COVID-19 resurgence include persisting public misconceptions; preventive measures almost totally abandoned; poor awareness in who is a suspected case; refusal of COVID-19 testing opportunities; contacts and confirmed cases not isolating; poor vaccine coverage; risk of important by travellers; confirmed cases refusing advise on administration isolation among others.
Akinleye, who stressed that it would take a while before adequate vaccine coverage, said non-pharmaceutical preventive measures like washing of hands with soap and water regularly, use of nose mask, maintaining social distance must continue.
“Keeping cases down is our collective responsibility,” she added.
In his remarks, the EOC’s Co-lead on Risk Communication and Community Engagement Pillar,Dr Olusola Oriniowo, noted that there was underreporting of cases of side effects of the vaccine in Oyo State.
He said individuals are expected to report any symptom they noticed after taking the vaccine to be able to access correct advice and medical care on how to manage any effects.
As of June 6,2021, Oyo State has tested 42,870 COVID-19 samples since the first case was recorded in March 2020, with 6,858 confirmed positive cases. While 6,731 people have recovered, 124 deaths have been recorded.