Health Expert Warns Against Mixing Up Covid-19 Vaccines

By Nkechinyere Oginyi

The Covid -19 Risk Communication and Community Engagement Consultant with a USAID funded project in Ebonyi state, integrated health policy, IHP, Toyeke Adedipe, Thursday warned that Covid - 19 vaccine should not be mixed as such is not recommended by the World health organization.

Toyeke said that to be vaccinated against Covid -19 is very easy.

She spoke during a one-day state-level media engagement meeting on Covid -19 held in Abakaliki.

The media engagement was organized by the ministry of health with support from the USAID-funded project in the state integrated health policy (IHP )and partners.

The consultant said AstraZeneca is given as the second dose for those who had their first dose before July 8, 2021, while it is currently given as the first dose to those who are yet to be vaccinated. While Moderna vaccine is now given as the first dose for those who are yet to be vaccinated, adding that the vaccines are free and anyone asked to pay a dime should report to the ministry of health.

Adedipe however advised that the Covid -19 vaccines should not be mixed, "WHO does not recommend that. So ensure your 2nd dose is with the same vaccine brand as your 1st dose.

"Most brands of Covid -19 vaccines require 2 doses with varying intervals between the doses. You need to complete your doses for full protection against the virus," she noted. 

The consultant hinted that mild effects might occur in form of fatigue, headache, chills, slight fever, pain, or numbness at the site of vaccination which is expected to disappear within 3days, but if the symptoms persist, the nearest health center should be visited.

She advised that after taking the vaccine, those vaccinated should continue to wear face masks regularly and observe other Covid -19 protocols to stay protected.

Earlier, the state immunization key Officer ministry of Health Mr. Nnanna Kalu, charged residents of the state to ensure that they are vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus as there is no alternative to the vaccine.

The health expert explained that the Covid -19 virus is real and that is still killing people. 

He added that the vaccines are out and that a good number of Ebonyi people have been vaccinated while encouraging those who have not taken the vaccines to do so as there is no alternative to the vaccine for now.

Nnanna Ogbonna Kalu said it's a demonstration of love to take the Covid- 19 vaccines, " You are saving yourself, loved ones, your neighbor, and the society at large". 

He said that each local government has five designated centers for the vaccination and that there is a total of fifty-six designated centers in Ebonyi.

According to the immunization officer, the Astrazeneca vaccine, the second should be taken after six weeks of the first dose, while the Moderna vaccine's second dose should be taken four weeks after the first dose.

In a remark, the Executive Secretary, State Primary Health Care Development Agency, (SPHCDA) in her remarks, urged Ebonyi residents to take the Covid 19 vaccines and leave the rest for God.

She said that when someone who was vaccinated is exposed to the Covid 19 virus that the effect will be reduced.

State Health Educator, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Prescilia Ajaodi, advised women to immunization themselves against polio.//

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