Today, Friday 26 March, 2021, College of Medicine (CoMUI), University of Ibadan commenced the administration of COVID-19 vaccine on staff members. The CoMUI Management acknowledged that the process was made possible with the support of the Professor Abiodun Otegbayo led University College Hospital (UCH) Management.
The exercise which is billed to last for ten days took off at about 10am at the courtyard of the B. Osuntokun Auditorium. The Provost, Professor Olayinka O. Omigbodun had earlier received the vaccination when the exercise was conducted for members of the UCH Board on Thursday 25 March. The Deputy Provost, Professor Fatai Adeniyi and the Deputy Registrar and Secretary to the College, Dr IkeOluwapo Moody, were among those who received the vaccine today.
According to Dr Adeola Fowotade, Clinical Virologist and Coordinator of the Biorepository Clinical Virology Laboratory (BCVL), College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, as at 26 March 2021, BCVL had tested over 25,000 samples for COVID-19. About 16% of these samples were positive and some of these persons had developed severe forms of the disease. To her, bringing the Astra Zeneca vaccines to the college community at this time will help to break the chain of COVID-19 transmission.
While fielding questions from the BCC crew, the Deputy Provost said the vaccine is safe to use and that the entire CoMUI is being sensitized about the exercise. Commenting on the perceived apathy towards the vaccination as relayed in the comments made by some members of the CoMUI community, Professor Fatai Adeniyi attributed this attitude to natural fears, saying it is not unusual. He thereafter implored members of CoMUI to take advantage of the opportunity of having the vaccine brought to them directly. He concluded by saying the CoMUI Management has put a team on ground that is working round the clock to ensure that the community is kept safe from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a similar development, Dr Michael Obaro of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and member, CoMUI COVID-19 Sub-Committee, attested to the fact that the Astra Zeneca vaccine has been widely reported to be effective judging from clinical trial results available globally. He stated that quite a number of people have received the vaccine in Lagos and Abuja, and only mild side-effects ranging from dizziness to nausea and fever have been reported. He remarked that these reactions are not different from what people experience from vaccines for polio, measles and yellow fever.
Speaking after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Professor T.K. Hamzat of Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan lauded the move by the College management to make the vaccine available to staff with ease. He encouraged everyone to take advantage of the opportunity as the vaccine had been brought to their doorstep and is being administered through a stress- free process.
There is no doubt that many individuals are undecided about the expediency of receiving the vaccine. The whole media space is awash with theories of conspiracy and stories about adverse effects of the vaccine in other climes. In an attempt to address some of these claims, Dr. Olugbenga Odukanmi of the Physiology Department acknowledged the fact that people always fear the unknown. He however reiterated the fact that vaccines have been with us now for a long time and have been proven to be effective in providing immunisation for different diseases. He admitted that people experience different reactions to vaccines. While side effects may be mild or non-existent for some, they may be severe in rare cases. He enthused that to gain herd immunity, and for the sake of protecting others in the community, the challenges posed by receiving the vaccine may be nothing compared to the advantages of getting vaccinated. However, he observed that there is no data yet to establish how long the protection offered by the vaccine will last.
By the close of work, over 60 people had been vaccinated. Prior to coming for the vaccine, staff members need to fill a form online at https://nphcdaict.com.ng/publicreg. It takes less than ten minutes to complete the form. Please note that the vaccinators will not be able attend to anyone who does not have proof of having observed the online registration as the code generated will be required for records purposes. The vaccinators will also not be assisting anyone to do online registration on site.
The process continues all through the weekend (Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 March 2021) and will run through the coming week. Daily take off time is 9a.m. and closing is 3p.m. Venue remains the courtyard in front of Osuntokun Auditorium.