By Donald Ojebo
Deltans have been called upon to embrace the covid-19 vaccines and present themselves for the vaccination assuring of its safety and effectiveness.
The Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor, gave the advice today during the flag-off of the Covid-19 state-wide vaccination exercise at the Asaba Specialist Hospital.
The Governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye said that a total of 85,700 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines allocated to Delta State arrived the State on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
He said that the 85,700 doses formed part of the subsequent doses of the vaccines to be given to Delta State in the next few weeks to come.
The Governor revealed that 2,866 cases of the disease and 69 deaths have been recorded in the State since the index case was recorded in Delta State on the 7th of April, 2020, and several patients are recovering in the various treatment centers across the State.
Governor Okowa said that the frontline workers have been prioritized for the vaccination due to their exposure to the Covid-19 virus in the course of their duties.
He said the vaccines are safe and effective and urged Deltans to embrace the vaccines as it helps to improve the level of immunity even as he stated that if a person who had been vaccinated contracted the disease, its severity will be much lesser and even be asymptomatic.
Senator Okowa urged Deltans to discountenance the wrong information trending on social media that the vaccines have been inscribed with demonic symbols or and that when an individual is injected with the vaccine, a chip will be implanted inside the person and used to monitor the person.
According to him, “since ages past we have been exposed to one type of vaccination or the other. These vaccines are part of measures to aid in the fight against the spread of the disease in the State”.
In her remarks, the Board Chairman, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. (Mrs.) Isioma Okobah revealed that the roll out of the vaccines would be done in 4 phases namely: frontline workers and strategic leadership; those over the age of 50; individuals between the ages of 18 and 49 with relevant medical conditions; and eligible population made up of individuals between the ages of 18 and 49 without medical conditions.
She said her Agency has the task of coordinating vaccination activities in the State and will be adapting previous experiences from vaccination efforts and structure specifically used in Polio immunization to facilitate the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccines.
Dr. Okobah stated that the Nigeria Primary Health Care Development Agency, World Health Organization and UNICEF are already in the State providing technical assistance to Local government Areas to optimize readiness having trained health workers across the 25 Local Government Areas on the vaccination exercise.
She counseled that being vaccinated does not mean that one can throw caution to the wind and put self and others at risk as particularly it was still not clear the degree in which vaccines can protect not only against the disease but also against infection and transmission.
In their various good will messages, partners such as Nigeria Primary Health care Development Agency, World Health Organization and UNICEF congratulated the State on the roll out, even as they called on all eligible persons to get vaccinated and assured of their continual support in the fight against the spread of the disease.