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Yellow fever: Expert tasks public on environmental cleanliness, vaccination

Yellow fever: Expert tasks public on environmental cleanliness, vaccination

The public has been advised to also ensure environmental cleanliness as they make themselves available for yellow fever vaccination.

Dr Avuwa Joseph Oteri, Chairman National Yellow Fever Technical Committee, gave the advice during an interview with Daily Trust in Abuja.

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He said it is important for them to remove all breeding spaces for mosquitoes to protect them against other health problems.

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Yellow fever is a viral haemorrhagic disease spread through the bite of infected mosquitos. The disease is transmitted by infected aedes mosquitoes and has  symptoms such as fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue among others.

The federal government with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF had between last month and now carried out mass vaccination campaigns against yellow fever in five states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)  for people within 9 months to 44 years. It is the second phase of the  biggest yellow fever vaccination campaign and targets vaccinating about 26.2 million people in the country against yellow fever .

Dr Oteri who is also the Director, Special Duties, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) also advised mothers to make their children available for other required immunisation exercises to protect them from diseases.

Asked why the vaccination is for only people between 9 months to 44 years, he said that aside children below nine months, all other persons are eligible to receive yellow fever vaccination. However, he said that it has been observed that it is those between 9 months to 44 years that are most affected by the disease that is why it is targeted at them. He added that it is also assumed that  those older than the target age may have received it one time or the other in their lives..

On side effects from receiving double vaccination raised by some people who mistakenly went for another dose, he said there was no  side effects .

Some people have also asked why 2020 is written on their cards after vaccination, Dr Oteri clarified that the 2020 meant the expiration date  of the vaccines, not the expiration of  their immunity against yellow fever when vaccinated.

He said yellow fever vaccination provides life-long protection against the disease.

“It means the vaccines being used will expire then not that the immunity  will expire in their bodies in 2020,” he said.

He said participation in the  vaccination exercise  has been very high in churches, mosques and other designated points of vaccination.

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