Oyo state government has disclosed that the over 100,000 Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines received from the federal government were currently subjected to sterility test before administering to residents.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello disclosed this in a press conference on Wednesday.
He noted that the decision was part of resolutions reached at the executive council meeting presided by Governor Seyi Makinde
He explained that in view of global concerns, adequate arrangement were being made to ensure adequate precautions on the vaccination procedure.
His words: “Oyo State, as of present, received a total 127,740 doses of the AstraZeneca brand of the Covid-19 vaccine. However, we realized that with the complaints and refusal in some countries, particularly most European nations, Sweden, Denmark, Norway even France, we too in Oyo State have to take some basic precautionary measures.
“One of the measures was that we ensured, first of all, because of the potency of the vaccine, the type we got was the one that can only operate within +2degree centigrade to +8degree centigrade which we have at our Jericho Cold Store.
“We are also trying to ensure that the state modifies its own website because it is a national website for those intending to and this has given rise to some misconceptions because some people wrongfully thought Oyo State has got the vaccine and they don’t know what we are doing. But the correct information is that there are some information necessary for every individual to be vaccinated. We are now, along with the international websites, inputting some pieces of information so that the Oyo State website will be fairly distinct and we will be able to catch up on some things.
“One of these is the fact that Oyo State is preparing to ensure because one of the factors some countries gave was intravascular coagulation, a factor which means that the blood will cloth within the vessels. The subsequent result of this is that, if it blocks any part of the body and that body is no longer vasculated, that is paralysis for that side because there is no blood in circulation. But if perchance it involves the coronary artery, which is a very tiny one, it will lead to shock and immediate death.
“So, we now add what we call a coagulometer, which we have had at Olodo all along and it is going to be optional. That is one of the precautions Oyo State is trying to take along with its vaccination procedure.
“Then, we decided to test some of the ones we have received by carrying out a sterility test to determine if the vaccines do not have any other secondary form of infective substance. So, all these are being carried out presently at our two laboratories; the Virology laboratory at UCH and Biorepository laboratory, which are being fortified financially and materially regularly by the Oyo State government. Within the next few days, we will have some results on the test.
“The third one is that we have to prepare about three centres; Fixed Vaccination Centres, which our hospitals and different immunization centres already established in various LGAs. However, we have some, which will be Temporary Vaccination Centres, which will be for people specifically in large areas, particularly high incident areas that we have recorded high cases of coronavirus positive test. The third is some specialized groups, groups that may not be able to leave their sites. Although, the administration of the vaccine will be in stages.
“Those in the first stage are the frontline workers, which include people in the fire services, Police, Military, Executive rulers, traditional rulers e.t.c. Those in the second stage include people within 50 years and above. However, part of the modifications we are making on the website of Oyo State is that we are including in this group even people of the lower group that are exposed to the disease, that are at risk or have symptoms. So, lower age group can join 50 and above if they are adjudged to be at risk.
“After this, we have the younger age groups but 18 and below are not known to be so much at risk. So, that is the plan with this government.
“To finalise it all, at every centre, we will ensure we have what we call AFI, that is an adverse effect that could be arising following immunization. So, at all those centres, we have some equipment that will capture any immediate adverse effect that could occur at the site.”