Covid-19: Get vaccinated and stay safe- USAID-IHP urges Ebonyians

By Nnenna Mba

Ebonyi residents have been advised by the United States Agency for International Development-funded Integrated Health Programme, USAID-IHP,  to get their Covid-19 vaccines and adhere to preventive measures to stay safe of the pandemic.

IHP COVID-19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement Consultant, Ms Toyeke Adedipe stated this at a one-day State level Media engagement meeting on Covid-19 organised in collaboration with the Ebonyi State Ministry of Health on Thursday 21st October, 2021.

Ms  Adedipe affirmed that Covid-19 has been affecting the World, since late 2019 with Nigeria recording its first case of the pandemic in March 2020.

According to her:”Since then we’ve been trying worldwide to fight the virus. First of all we started with preventive measures, hand washing, mask wearing and social distance. Then last year, the first set of vaccines for Covid-19 was developed and the vaccine campaign began.

She advised that Covid-19 vaccines should not be mixed as directed by the World Health Organization, WHO. Stressing that everyone should ensure that will taking the 2nd dose of the vaccine, it should be the same vaccine brand as their 1st dose.

According to her, “the vaccines sent to Nigeria are; Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson vaccines. AstraZeneca is given as 2nd dose for all who had their first dose before 8th July 2021. Administration of the 2nd dose of AstraZeneca vaccine commenced on 23rd August to 30th September 2021. As more supply comes in, it will be given as 1st dose.

“Moderna vaccines are currently given as first dose for those who are yet to be vaccinated.

“Covid-19 vaccines should not be mixed, WHO does not recommend that. So ensure your 2nd dose is with same vaccine brand as your 1st dose.”

She said most brands of the Covid-19 vaccine require 2 doses with varying intervals between the doses. You need to complete your doses for full protection against the virus.”

“AstraZeneca is two doses, 6 to 12 weeks apart, Moderna is two does, 4 weeks apart, only Johnson and Johnson is a single dose, “Ms Adedipe explained.

Ms Adedipe said that Health experts said fatigue, headache, chills, slight fever, pain or numbness at the site of vaccination have been noticed, after being vaccinated which often disappears within 3days.

She advised that if the symptoms persist, such a person should consult any nearest health centre for care and further treatment.

In his remark The Executive Secretary, State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA), Mrs Kate Barry Oko in her remarks, further urged Ebonyi residents to take serious the issue of COVID 19 vaccination while praying for divine intervention towards eradicating the scourge from human race.

While explaining that getting immunized neutralizes the severe effects of the virus upon exposure, he called on the Media to help spread the right information regarding the pandemic, saying: “the media is a an indispensable partner in the fight against COVID -19 and other health challenges.

The State Immunization Officer in the Ministry, Mr. Nnanna Kalu, while explaining that the COVID-19 virus with its recent variants were real and still killing people across the globe, urged Ebonyi residents who have not gotten immunised to urgently do so, adding that there was no alternative to it at present.

He emphasized that the vaccines were available and free, while vaccinations were ongoing in the 56 vaccination posts across the State, having between 4 and 5 designated centres in each local government area.

Kalu further explained that there were 3 brands of the vaccination available in Nigeria, comprising AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

He noted that apart from Johnson & Johnson which is reserved for hard-to-reach areas, the other two required two seperate jabs to make a complete dosage.

He pointed out that for the Astrazeneca vaccine, the second should be taken after six weeks of the first dose, while moderna vaccine second dose should be taken four weeks after the first dose.

Nnanna Stressed: “it is a demonstration of love to take the COVID- 19 vaccine.

“You are saving yourself, saving your family and loved ones; your neighbours and the society at large.”


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