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JUST IN: LASG lists journalists, police, others eligible for free COVID-19 vaccine shots

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Government has listed journalists, Policemen, and other frontline workers for free Coronavirus vaccine, as part of measure to break the community transmission chain of the virus across the state

Others expected to get free Astra Zeneca COVID-19 COVAX vaccines were military officers, judicial workers, port health workers, and rapid response teams in Lagos.

Confirming the list on Friday, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that the list was approved by the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to protect the identified workers from contracting the virus.

Abayomi added that 88 designated locations have been approved for Phase 1 of the exercise which consists of medical workers, police, military, laboratory, port health, judiciary, and rapid response teams.

At the briefing on vaccine roll-out, the Commissioner explained that the vaccination campaign would be carried out in phases in order of priority.

“We have received 507,742 doses of the COVID19 AstraZeneca vaccine. These vaccines arrived in Lagos in the early hours of the 9th of March. They have been collected under security detail by our Primary Health Care Board that are responsible for routine immunization in the State. They have been kept in our cold chain facilities and are to be distributed under the appropriate protocols to the centres where the vaccinations will be conducted”.

Abayomi explained that there is an elaborate plan to roll-out the vaccination campaign in four phases beginning with frontline workers and health care professionals as well as members of the security apparatus in the State. This, he said, is according to the Federal plan developed by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

“The first phase will include all frontline workers, health professionals, staff at port health, air, land and sea, members of the police, military, all laboratory staff, the judiciary, and the COVID19 rapid response team.

“Phase two which will commence immediately after phase one will include anybody over the age of  50 as well as those living with what we described as comorbidities which are essential hypertension, diabetics or any other underlying health conditions that predisposes you to developing severe or critical COVID19 disease.

“In addition, within phase two we will also be vaccinating anyone between the age of 18 and 49 if they have any of the comorbidities that I just described. Phase three and phase four will include everyone else that wishes to vaccinate and especially within the high disease burden local government areas”, he added.

The commissioner stated that the vaccination plan for Lagos has been slightly adjusted to cater for the peculiarity of the State which is a megacity. This, he added, came about after a thorough assessment of the vaccination plan by Governor Sanwo-Olu’s 14-man COVID19 vaccination technical working group.

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