By Ezra Odogu
Lagos State will start rolling out Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines at the weekend, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu confirmed on Wednesday.
Sanwo-Olu said a steering committee set up for the vaccine administration was in its final stage of preparation for the deployment of the vaccine, confirming that the State had a clear-cut strategy for the vaccine distribution.
The Governor spoke when he received the country representative of the World Health Organization (W.H.O), Dr. Walter Mulombo, in a courtesy visit at the State House, Alausa.
The first consignment of 507,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccines provided by the Federal Government arrived in Lagos on Tuesday.
Sanwo-Olu said he was optimistic that the vaccine rollout would be successfully implemented, adding that the State’s Primary Healthcare Board would lead the effort in achieving herd immunity.
He said: “We have instituted a steering committee for the vaccine administration, which comprises health practitioners in the public and private sectors. They have designed a robust vaccine implementation strategy and they have identified various segments of our citizens who need to get first and in what order.
“Working with the State Primary Healthcare Board, we will start administering the vaccine by the weekend. We are leading from the front to convince our citizens that the vaccine is needed to build resistance, especially among frontline workers and those who have underlying issues.”
The Governor said the curve of the second wave of the virus had been flattened in Lagos, but added that the State still faced some challenging issues in the response. He said the State had put in place an elaborate process to ensure the vaccine administration succeeds.
Sanwo-Olu said health remained a critical component of his administration’s programmes in boosting human capital index, while also pledging the State’s readiness to partner with W.H.O in new areas of collaboration.
Mulombo said the W.H.O recognised Lagos Government’s contribution towards making Nigeria polio free, stressing that the country had shown courageous efforts in its response to stop COVID-19.
The envoy said that United Nations’ agency looked forward to Lagos’ leadership in efficient administration of COVID-19 vaccine.
He said: “We are here to re-assure you of UN’s continued support for Lagos State in combating health issues. We look forward to that leadership displayed in the early days of COVID-19 response and urge Lagos to show the same in rolling out the vaccine.