Contrary to insinuations in some quarters that the just-completed yellow fever vaccination exercise conducted in Bauchi State is to serve as COVID-19 vaccination, the Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSPHCDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, has declared that yellow fever vaccines are not the same as COVID-19 vaccines.
The BSPHCDA had between Monday, 18th of January and Wednesday, 27th January, 2021 carried out yellow fever vaccination exercise, targeting seven million people to be vaccinated during the exercise.
It, however, excluded 30 wards in Alkaleri; Bauchi; Kirfi and Tafawa Balewa Local Government Areas of the State where similar exercises were conducted in 2019 and 2020.
Rumours are rife in the State that the yellow fever vaccination was meant to cover for COVID-19, making some to conclude that there is no need for them to be vaccinated for COVID-19 when the vaccines are brought to the State.
Debunking this in an exclusive interview with DAILY POST, Dr Mohammed declared that it was a mere misconception, saying that yellow fever vaccines are not the same as COVID-19 vaccines.
“The misconception is that we started yellow fever campaign and they are thinking that it is coronavirus vaccine.
“Let everybody bury in their hearts that the vaccine that the Federal Government brought to Bauchi State, seven million vaccines for yellow fever is coronavirus vaccine,” the BSPHCDA boss declared.
He said that COVID-19 vaccines are yet to arrive in Nigeria, adding that they are being expected by the end of the month.
Mohammed informed that the Federal Government had been sensitising Nigerians ahead of the COVID-19 vaccine’s arrival.
“We still appeal to the public that the Federal Government is doing all it takes to actually sensitise the people through religious groups, community sensitisation,” he said.
Unlike yellow fever vaccines which is once in a lifetime, Dr Mohammed informed that the COVID-19 vaccine was to be taken twice in three weeks, adding that Bauchi State is only expecting 1,900 COVID-19 vaccines anytime from now.
“The whole country is receiving 100,000 doses (of COVID-19 vaccine), Bauchi State is receiving 1,900 first doses. The second dose is going to be repeated after 21 days. First dose of the vaccine will give 50% protection and then the second dose will give you 100% protection,” he informed.
He added that the first batch of vaccine being expected was produced by Pfizer, adding that the Nigerian government had since planned to purchase Covax vaccine.
According to the BSPHCDA Executive Secretary, “the second batch of the vaccine that is coming, which the Federal Government is planning to purchase from the manufacturers, we’ve already sent our request; the Federal Government has already forwarded a request for the purchase of the Covax vaccines.”