Bayelsa government reassures people living with HIV on safety

Bayelsa Health Commissioner Dr. Pabara Newton-Igwele assured people living with HIV in the state that they can safely be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Newton-Igwele, who was represented by Dr. Jones Stow, Director, Public Health, Bayelsa State, Ministry of Health, said this on Friday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, during a prevention awareness day, testing and vaccination for the Bayelsa state chapter of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NEPHWAN) and frontline health workers from Yenagoa and South Ijaw Local Government Areas. The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the event was organized by the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health with the support of USAID/Breakthrough ACTION-Nigeria. The commissioner said: “We strongly recommend that all people living with HIV should have the COVID-19 vaccine when it is offered to them. “Some of the vaccines the state has received, such as the Oxford AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, are specific to people living with HIV. “At present, no evidence has been presented to suggest that people with HIV have a different response to the COVID-19 vaccine,” he added. He noted that based on the composition and mechanism of action of the COVID-19 vaccines, the state can assume that they should be safe for people living with HIV. “None of the vaccines currently undergoing regulatory expansion or review use live viruses as a mechanism to stimulate antibodies, and it is the live vaccines that are most likely to cause problems for people living with HIV. “For people living with HIV, COVID-19 vaccines provide the same benefits they provide to all other people and communities, including preventing serious illness due to COVID-19 and potentially reducing transmission of the SARS-CoV2 virus. “People living with HIV should make sure they are taking effective HIV antiviral treatment that not only keeps people healthy, but also prevents continued transmission of HIV. “Even though it all happened so fast, the vaccine trials still feature the same results and the same safety monitoring mechanism, with the same independent outside group monitoring that safety. “There are absolutely no concerns about interaction with HIV drugs,” he explained. The commissioner added that there is no evidence to suggest that any of the vaccines approved so far are not safe for people with HIV. Dr. Adunola Oyegoke, Senior Program Officer, Partner Liaison, Breakthrough Action Nigeria, said that while COVID-19 vaccine injections do not increase the likelihood of developing AIDS, stigma and misinformation can negatively affect health. physical and mental health of people living with HIV. . “Misinformation and fear are key drivers of HIV stigma and also of COVID-19,” he said. According to Oyegoke, “This is part of Breakthrough Action Nigeria’s efforts to help the country’s public health institutions address widely shared misinformation, to add factual context to misleading content circulating about the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases. According to Ms. Rose Nwokezie, Coordinator of NEPHWAN, Bayelsa State, she said that as someone who has been living with HIV for a while, “I didn’t hesitate to get vaccinated”. Nwokezie said it was essential for people living with HIV to know that their medications would not reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, and receiving a vaccine does not affect the effectiveness of their HIV medications. “Experts have recommended COVID-19 vaccination for all people living with HIV, regardless of CD4 count. “’Anyone considering getting vaccinated. Please do your own research and make sure you make the best decision for yourself,” he advised. Read More Related News Here Do you have an opinion about this; Bayelsa government reassures people living with HIV on safety — Nigeria — Newslodge Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News Let’s hear it in the comment below