Kwara State Government has set up a Technical Working Group (TWG) as part of the national response to Covid 19 vaccine introduction.
The TWG would serve as an advisory body to the State as part of its strategies to sensitise people ahead of the introduction of COVID-19 vaccine.
The TWG, which is chaired by the Executive Secretary of the Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Nusirat Elelu, has members drawn from relevant MDAs, community based organisations, traditional institutions and faith-based organisations.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the TWG in Ilorin recently, Dr. Elelu explained that the vaccine brings a sense of hope to Nigerians whose lives have been affected by the pandemic.
She urged the various stakeholders to help to sensitise the public on the need to embrace it.
Elelu said the TWG was set up to map out strategies for the introduction of the vaccine in the state based on templates already established by the Federal Government.
She said the vaccine would help to arrest the havocs of the virus whose spread has crippled economies globally.
Dr Elelu therefore urged all stakeholders to help sensitise the public and stand up against myths and rumours in order to tackle the challenge.
Director of the Primary Health Care System, Dr Michael Oguntoye, said the havoc wreaked by the pandemic is enormous and strategies designed to combat it should be embraced by all.
The Emir of Shonga, Dr. Haliru Yahaya, stressed the need for stakeholders to improve public acceptance of the vaccine and erase whatever doubts from the society.
He said the TWG will plan and develop strategies and modalities for the acceptance of the first tranche of the COVID 19 vaccine in the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communication, Alhaja Rabiat Mopelola AbdulRahaman, urged the Agency to promptly work within the Risk Communication framework to sensitise and create public enlightenment to propagate the COVID 19 vaccine introduction.
Alhaja AbdulRahaman further said the Ministry would ratchet up various enlightenment programmes to deepen public acceptance of the vaccine ahead of its introduction.
Dr Elelu, meanwhile, has said there is no conclusion yet on the type of cold chain equipment the state would require for the storage of the vaccine.
Her words: “The country initially planned to procure 100,000 doses of Pfizer covid 19 vaccines which would require -70°C cold chain storage. However, recent development indicates that the country has planned to procure 16Million doses of Covid 19 vaccines from Astra Zeneca with a temperature requirement of between +2 to +8°C.
” This is the same temperature requirement as our existing vaccine for routine immunisation.
” In summary, the vaccine that will be procured by the country and made available in Kwara will determine what type of cold chain equipment the state will invest in.” she said.