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Anambra monarchs advocate wider COVID-19 vaccination

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SOME Anambra monarchs have called on the indigenes and residents of the state to avail themselves of the golden opportunity provided by the government to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.

  The call was made during the advocacy meetings with traditional rulers, religious leaders and influencers on COVID-19 vaccination, which was organised by the Social Mobilisation and Technical Committee (SOMTEC), a UNICEF-Assisted project domiciled in the state’s Ministry of Information (MOI). 

  The meeting was in line with the efforts to increase uptake of the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination in the state and the nation at large.

  It was also aimed at eliciting public statements from the leaders who had been vaccinated to prove that COVID-19 vaccines are not harmful, who in turn would encourage their people at the grassroots to go for the vaccination. 

  The activity which was billed for 20 days, engaged staff from various ministries, parastatals and agencies which included MOI, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA) and the media.

  The UNICEF resource person, Mrs Chineze George-Ileka informed the leaders that COVID-19 is real and still prevalent; stressing that people who do not receive the vaccination could be at high risk of being infected with the deadly disease. 

  She debunked the negative theories and false rumours that followed the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines, urging the public to go for the vaccines.

  The traditional leaders in their submissions, enjoined the people to access the various primary healthcare centres (PHCs) and other designated healthcare facilities to receive the free COVID-19 vaccination. 

  They expressed joy for being part of the COVID-19 vaccination advocacy and commended the state government and UNICEF for the programme.

  The traditional ruler of Enugwu-Ukwu, Igwe Ralph Ekpe noted that the western world believed that COVID-19 would later become like flu which would gradually phase out if everybody becomes vaccinated. 

  Igwe Ekpe cited examples of smallpox and chicken pox which had phased out, stressing that COVID-19 vaccination is a very good measure to contain the disease.

  He maintained that he had received the complete doses as well as the booster dose without experiencing any challenges.

   “I have taken the first, the second dose as well as the booster and I am happy. There is nothing wrong with the COVID-19 vaccines.” 

  The traditional ruler of Awka,  Obi Gibson Nwosu also testified that he had taken the complete doses as well as the booster vaccine without any challenge, enjoining Awka indigenes and residents to go for the vaccines.

   According to the traditional prime minister of Awka, Benjamin Okoye, COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination are not scam; people should forget about the unverified write-ups circulated on social media and go get vaccinated for their own good. 

  “Our professors and elites are receiving the Jabs, they are not all ignorant; if COVID-19 vaccines were evil they would have told us,’’ he said.

  Igwe Patrick Mbamalu Okeke of Abagana said he had received the first, second and booster doses and even travelled to the United States of America after receiving the booster dose. 

  “It had no single side effect on me. Let everyone go and receive the COVID-19 vaccination. It is good for the body.”

  The traditional ruler of Nise, Igwe Romanus Iloh remarked that government was doing well to help the people as well as save lives. He enjoined the public to do the needful by going for the vaccines.

  The traditional ruler of Ifitedunu, Igwe Emeka Ilouno said: “I have taken two jabs. It remains the booster dose. I advocate for more doses until it becomes routine vaccines as we have for Polio Mellitus, Tuberculosis and measles.

  “The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination are enormous, go and get vaccinated. If your body reacts to that of America, it may not react to the one made in Russia, Europe or China.”

  The traditional ruler of Uke, Igwe Charles Agbala noted that the vaccines are good, safe and free, urging the public to go for them.

 He assured the team that he would cascade the message to his people.

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