Nigeria has restarted Yellow fever vaccination while putting covid-19 safety measures in line. This was disclosed by the WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, via its website.
The International agency explained that while fighting multiple public health challenges, comprising the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Nigeria with the aid of WHO and other supporters had re-lauched mass vaccination campaigns.
“WHO, Centre for Disease Control (CDC), and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will safely re-launch an accelerated series of mass preventive vaccination campaigns to protect Nigerians against yellow fever.
“To enable safe implementation in the COVID-19 context, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and enhanced infection prevention control measures have been assured by some partners.
“They have been assured by a collaborative initiative and agile support of the State Ministries of Health, CDC, and WHO Health Emergencies Programme, and funding from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
“The accelerated yellow fever campaigns phase four will target more than 30 million people in seven states (Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Delta, Osun, Ondo, and Oyo) and complete the pending 2019 phase 3 Yellow Fever (YF) campaign in Anambra.
“This will be followed by further YF vaccination efforts between 2021-2022 which will target more than 95 million persons as part of the push to eliminate yellow fever epidemics.’’
The statement points out that the 10-day YF campaign in Anambra is slated to kick off on the 16th of October while the phase four states are slated to start on the 20th of November 2020.
“These campaigns are to be implemented in accordance with the WHO guidelines for the implementation of mass campaigns in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of PPEs and infection prevention control strategies as recommended.
“We are pleased to be able to safely relaunch life-protecting vaccination campaigns against yellow fever this week.
“Almost 30 million Nigerians will be protected for life from these campaigns in coming months – a remarkable achievement by our health care workers and communities.
“We encourage all eligible persons in the state to come forward and get vaccinated.
“Yellow fever outbreaks have re-emerged as a serious public health concern since September 2017. The upcoming campaigns will help stop outbreaks and save lives.”
The 2020 campaigns depict a speed of the phased preventive mass vaccination campaign intended to insure the country against yellow fever outbreaks.
The speed has been ratified by the global strategy to Eliminate Yellow Fever Epidemics (EYE) by 2026.
The statement cited Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director for Country Programmes at Gavi, as explaining that “the Yellow fever vaccine confers lifelong protection and is the most effective tool to prevent outbreaks of this potentially deadly disease.
“Gavi has been a long-time partner in this effort, and we are committed to continuing to support the Government of Nigeria and partners in their efforts to reach the millions, including children, who are at risk.”
The statement also cited the WHO Representative to Nigeria, Dr Kazadi Mulombo, as explaining, “Through decisive and agile work by the WHO EPI and Health Emergency programmes.
“WHO has helped source and provide 265,000 face masks that will support safe implementation of life-saving yellow fever vaccination activities in the COVID-19 context in Anambra state.
“The technical support provided by WHO to National and State levels will ensure a high-quality campaign including planning, training of health care workers, supervision of the campaign and high vaccination coverage.
“WHO and partners are committed to ensuring that every person at-risk of yellow fever is protected,” he said.