Lagos State expresses concern over low COVID-19 vaccination turnout
The Lagos State government has expressed concern about the low turnout of people for COVID-19 vaccination in the state, considering it the epicenter of the disease in the country.
Dr. Olubunmi Akinlade, the state’s immunization coordinator for the Ministry of Health, raised this concern during a media dialogue and advocacy event aimed at promoting the uptake of immunization and nutrition for children under two years old and the COVID-19 vaccination.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Lagos organized the two-day media roundtable. Despite being the epicenter of COVID-19 in Nigeria, only about 27% of the targeted eight million adults have been vaccinated. Akinlade stated that many people are still hesitant to get vaccinated, even though there has been aggressive education that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and can save lives. She also mentioned that some people only took the first dose and never followed up with the necessary second or third doses to be fully vaccinated.
The state government aimed to vaccinate 69,000 people daily based on the eight million targets. However, due to the high reluctance of people to get vaccinated, the exercise is slowing down. Only about 20,000 to 30,000 people present themselves for vaccination each day, which is not encouraging, especially as the virus is still around, and some people contract and die from it without showing symptoms.
Akinlade urged people who are yet to get vaccinated to visit any of the designated centers near them as they need to protect themselves and those around them. She also stated that the state government has made it easy by designating many primary health centers and around 450 mobile outlets across the state.
Dr. Waheed Ishola, the Lagos State Director of the National Orientation Agency, stated that both NOA and UNICEF believe in the role of the media in bringing public health concerns to the forefront and getting all stakeholders to live up to their responsibilities. He emphasized the importance of having healthy people for the socio-economic development of a country and how the media can educate the general public on this issue.