Representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Edo State and frontline workers at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) on Friday took their first jabs of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
The WHO Coordinator in Edo, Mrs. Faith Ireye, who led other members of her team to receive the vaccine, reassured that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective.
Ireye noted, “The AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, very effective and of quality; all the procedures in producing the vaccine were properly followed and the WHO has endorsed it for emergency use.
“Our own National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has also endorsed it. Yes, we have some who earlier suspended the use of AstraZeneca due to some reason, but some of these countries have resumed the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Countries like France, Italy and Spain have resumed the use of the vaccines because the outcome of the investigations showed that there is no evidence between reported blood clotting and the vaccine intake.”
“I am the state coordinator of the World Health Organization in Edo; I just took mine to reassure Nigerians that the vaccine is safe,” she added.
Ireye further charged Edo residents to avail themselves of the opportunity of taking the vaccines as it would help to stop the spread of COVID-19.
On her part, WHO National Facilitator in Edo, Mrs. Kate Ogiugo, stressed that the vaccine is safe, urging residents to disregard the rumor making the rounds on the harmfulness of the vaccines.
“Governor Godwin Obaseki has been immunized; his deputy, Philip Shaibu also has been vaccinated and other leaders in the state have shown good examples that the vaccines are safe,” she stated.
Prof. Michael Aziken from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UBTH, who was also vaccinated, said the COVID-19 vaccine is like every other vaccine with normal side effects.
“I know that concerns have been raised about the AstraZeneca vaccine, but analysis that has been published so far shows that all those complications that were linked to AstraZeneca were not in reality.
“I want to encourage everybody that has access to the vaccine to take the opportunity and be vaccinated. There is no known medication that can cure COVID-19. We have medication that can cure malaria but for viral infection the best thing that can cure it is via immunization,” he said.