No fewer than 22,000 people have been vaccinated in the ongoing vaccination against COVID-19 infection in Nassarawa local government area of Kano State
The disclosure was made by Sani Abdu Sani Mainagge, LGA Chief Immunization officer, Nassarawa LGA while speaking with a team of Journalists who visited the Gwagwarwa Health Center on Friday on an assessment tour of the ongoing immunization exercise.
He explained that “in the LGA, we have different types of fixed posts and other outreach posts in which vaccination is taking place. We move from one place to another within the LGA. But we have two fixed posts here in Gwagwarwa and the other one in Nassarawa hospital known as Mohammed Abdullahi Wase Hospital”.
The Chief Immunization Officer added that “As you know, we started this exercise on August 28 and today is the 13th day of the implementation of the exercise and we are immunizing people from 18 years and above,”.
Sani Mainagge added that “we have been getting very interesting reports from across the LGA because we have 2 different vaccines, Modena which was just introduced and we have been using and have immunized a total of 3548 people for the first dose while we have immunized 681people for the second dose”.
We have also started the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine with about 169 people in one day alone. The major constrain is the misconceptions peddled by people who are against the vaccination especially in the social media but this has not to deter us,” he further explained.
He also said that “As you know, Nassarawa is the most elitists LGA in Kano state, even in the first phase of COVID-19 pandemic vaccination, we vaccinated more than any other LGA in Kano state, more than 13000”.
On the general perception of people against the vaccination exercise, he said that “I can’t say the perceptions of the community, but the result is very encouraging. We have been able to Speak to all the stakeholders, Council Chairman, district heads as well as village heads and gone down towards heads as well as CBOs”.
“We held series of meetings with them and used town criers and announcers who are communicating with the public telling them the points to go for the Immunization,” he also said.
He however said that Children are not part of the target audience just as there have not been any serious adverse effects since the exercise started saying, “only mild ones which we are able to handle. We have enough vaccines, in fact, we have exhausted our supply of Modena and have started AstraZeneca again”.
Explaining further, Abdu Sani Mainagge said that, “We have at least four categories of the people, for instance now we have healthcare workers, male and female, secondly we have frontline workers people like you, Police, taxi drivers, filling stations attendants, those who are always dealing with people, then the third category is elderly people from 50 years above and lastly we have people from 18 to 49 years”.
According to him, “These are the categories of people we are immunizing during this particular exercise. For the Modena vaccine, in the last 13 days, we have been able to immunise, healthcare workers, 66 males and 40 females for the first dose, frontline workers, 261 males, and 181 females, elderly people of 50 years and above 367 males and 162 females, 18 to 49 years 1660 males and 811 females. Put together, we have immunized a total of 3548 for the second phase of the vaccination”.
He disclosed that “Our target is 17% of the total population of the LGA which is about 587, 000 based on the most recent health demographic survey. As you know, Nassarawa LGA is a gateway to Kano state, some people are coming in for one reason or another, we have markets, motor-parks, all these places are attracting people on a daily basis, they come into the facility to get attention and vaccination”.
He further said that “some people who want to travel abroad do come to take the vaccination through relatives and friends who are from here because they have to present evidence of been vaccinated before getting their visas” .
According to the Chief Immunization Officer, “AstraZeneca is the vaccine which we started with since in the first phase, non-stop, including Saturdays and Sundays, even during public holidays. We spent 40 days administering it, we have not stopped doing it here in Nassarawa, even after the 40 days”.
He stressed that “apart from the one we have done for the first time, this second phase, yesterday we were directed to start giving the first dose of the second phase of AstraZeneca vaccine and so far we have vaccinated healthcare workers 4 males and 4 females, other frontline workers, males 22, females 2, elderly people,50 years above 15 males and 1 female, 18 to 49 years males 77, females 44. The total is 169 people”.
According to him, “For the first phase of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we gave a total of 18,142 people who took the first jab while 10530 for the second dose within the period of 6 weeks. We ensure that every person vaccinated got adequately registered so that anywhere in the world, the data can be accessed”.
Abdu Sani Mainagge then commended UNICEF and other donor agencies who are collaborating with the Nigerian government to make the vaccines available to the public urging them not to relent until the target population was reached with the vaccine.
He also challenged media practitioners in the country not to relent in the campaign to increase uptake of the vaccines by embarking on education and advocacy which will create demand for it.
The journalists who are mostly health reporters from the 19 Northern states were in Kano for a-two day Media Dialogue on Demand creation for COVID-19 vaccines organized by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).