The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, has revealed that Nigerians may be required to take extra shots of the COVID-19 vaccine to stay safe.
Abayomi made the remark during a briefing in Ikeja, the state capital on Tuesday.
He explained booster shots may be required because the virus keeps evolving and mutating, therefore an upgraded vaccination strategy is needed for additional protection against the virus.
“You may require a booster which is the first, second and then subsequent doses, because we’ve also discovered that even though the vaccine stops you from getting seriously sick, it may not necessarily stop you from catching COVID,” he said.
“We do know that some people who are even fully vaccinated with two doses will still catch COVID and some people, very few, will get quite sick and occasionally some people may die. But certainly, people that are dying who are not vaccinated are much higher than people who are dying that have been vaccinated,” Abayomis said.
“So, we know that the vaccine is certainly protecting the population from severe disease and death.
“So, as the virus is changing, it may require that we need to give you more than two doses.
“Definitely, scientists around the world are toying with that idea as a third or fourth dose may be required. And that’s not very different from the flu. We all know that the flu vaccine needs to be updated every year if you want to protect yourself. So, if you got the flu vaccine last year, you need to get another one this year because every year, the flu itself is mutating. So, what you were vaccinated against last year is not going to protect you from this year’s flu.
“So, the same thing with COVID-19. It is possible that over time, the original vaccine is not going to be effective against the mutating virus. So, we will need to develop an updated and upgraded vaccine to protect you from the evolving and mutating strains of the COVID-19,” the commissioner added.
Abayomi also revealed that the state government plans to vaccinate 30 percent of Lagos residents by the end of the year.