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We’ve enough vaccines to inoculate ndi Anambra – Okpala

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IN PURSUANCE of mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), in collaboration with partner agencies is set to flag-off COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Campaign in the state.

The mass vaccination will commence from tomorrow (Tuesday) to Wednesday, January 5, 2022, with the flag-off at the state Cold Store Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka, by Gov Wllie Obiano.

Addressing the media in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat, Awka, Commissioner for Health, Vincent Okpala, while appreciating the partner agencies and stakeholders for supporting the fight against COVID-19 in the state said the state government was sleeplessly concerned about the challenges of protecting ndi Anambra against COVID-19 and tackling its associated economic set-back amid vaccine hesitancy and sustained disinformation besides the huge concern that the year is ending and most of ndi Anambra are preparing to come home for Christmas celebration.

”The mass vaccination is a carefully designed service delivery strategy that aims to rapidly increase the number of fully vaccinated eligible persons; will fast track the state economic and social recovery, and also vaccinate 50 per cent of our eligible population by January 2022.”

Dr Okpala said the state was seriously considering a scaled vaccine mandate starting with civil servants as is already the case at the federal level and some other parts of the world. 

 He further stated that the vaccines are available and free. ”There is no longer a reason why we should not protect ourselves and get vaccinated”. Dr. Okpala urged ndi Anambra to take advantage of the mass vaccination exercise.

In her remarks, Executive Secretary/CEO ASPHCDA, Chioma Ezenyimulu disclosed that over 110,000 ndi Anambra have been vaccinated. Dr Ezenyimulu expressed delight over the success of the previous vaccination campaigns and said that vaccination provides hope against the pandemic scourge.

”People who are highly affected by the illness, especially in the western countries are people who are unvaccinated and this has proven that vaccines are safe and very effective. Coming home to Nigeria, we are aware that the target population for this vaccination is 70 per cent. As you are aware, we are only vaccinating 18 years and above.”

Dr Ezenyimulu stated that this vaccination is different from others as the agency will cover every part of the state effectively. ”How to reach this teeming population is by mass vaccination. Each political ward in the state now has a functional health centre for vaccination, beside 50 private facilities that have been accredited to also provide vaccination across the state, as well 15 special locations that will be made available. This is in addition to the general and teaching hospitals that we are already using,” she said.

Senior Supervisor, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Abuja, George Uzoigwe highlighted that the federal agency is in Anambra State to support the state’s mass vaccination programme campaign and urged ndi Anambra to get vaccinated.

‘This is very important. In the last two phases of the vaccination programmes, many people did not come out but we are bringing down vaccination to everyone’s doorstep this time. There is no reason not to get vaccinated,” he said.

Among those at the event were Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Health, Linus Nwankwo, Diden Gbafiyi, UNICEF Consultant, Anambra State, Shehu Muhammad, State Technical Assistant, COVID-19 Vaccination WHO, Anambra State, among others.  

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