The Lagos State Government is finalising its own COVID-19 vaccine strategy, even as it expects fair distribution of the Pfizer therapy from the Covax Facility being expected this month by the Federal Government.
In an update Sunday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu hinged the belief on the fact that the state is the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria.He noted that the nation’s economic capital was, at the same time, keeping a close eye on ongoing research, development and clinical trials besides being in constant engagement with relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
The governor said: “As the vaccines become available in Lagos State, they will be prioritized to the people who need them the most: frontline health workers, people with co-morbidities (medically vulnerable), the elderly (aged 65 and above, and subsequently, those aged between 50 and 65) and essential workers.
“While aligning with the national strategy for deployment of the vaccines, in these early days, Lagos State will also continue to scale up the capacity to flatten the infection curve, and to minimise the fatality rate, through testing and treatment.”
He submitted that his administration would ensure Lagosians are protected from price-gouging and other forms of exploitation, sustain integrity of the vaccines along the entire supply and distribution chain, monitor compliance with approved dosages in addition to making sure that a post vaccination adverse event monitoring strategy was followed diligently and according to normal protocols of pharmaceutical public safety.
For wider treatment, Sanwo-Olu said government was making efforts to transform the state-owned Isolation Centre in Gbagada into a fee-paying facility where people can elect to be treated.
“This means that while the COVID Treatment Facility in Yaba will continue to offer free and high-quality treatment to all persons, Gbagada will offer treatment at a moderated and affordable cost to those who wish to take advantage of extra offerings like private treatment rooms and more personalised levels of care,” he clarified.
On infection and death rates, the governor observed: “As of the of January 29, 2021, Lagos State had recorded a total of 47,871 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 34,094 have recovered in community, while 9,856 are currently active in community. Over the last 12 months, about 3,988 COVID-related patients have been admitted into the various care centres across the state, with a registered fatality rate of approximately 0.63% (301 deaths).
As a proactive, he said the state had established a telemedicine service, EKOTELEMED, for patients, who are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms that do not require admission, to be managed in the comfort of their homes.
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