Akwa Ibom Kicks-off COVID-19 Vaccination Exercise

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*doctors, nurses receive first jabs


By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo


In line with an earlier announcement to commence inoculation of all its frontline healthcare workers, the Akwa Ibom State Government has kick-started the first batch of COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
The event which took place at the General Hospital, Ituk Mbang in Uruan on Friday, had in attendance, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh and the Chairman of the State’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency (AKSPHCDA), Dr. Martins Akpan.
Others were, the Chairman of the State’s Branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Imeh Udoh, representatives of WHO, NAFDAC and other critical stakeholders in the state healthcare sector.
Unveiling the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines, the Health Commissioner reiterated that the first line healthcare workers were the designated receivers of the first batch of the vaccines.
He explained that the decision was taken to prevent those whose daily activities in various healthcare facilities across the state, put them directly at risk of contacting the Covid-19 virus.
”Recently, we took delivery of 69,030 dosages of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines meant for the state, and let me quickly add that, for effective coordination and management of the vaccination exercise, the lead agency is the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) , and this agency has come up with how this vaccines would be administered. 
”The vaccines are to be administered to the people in phases, and the front line healthcare workers are designated as the first to be administered to. 
”We would then move on to the strategic stakeholders which include: the political heads, traditional leaders, security personnel, people in the vulnerable age and then the general public.
”What this means is that, the vaccines we have already taken delivery of, are meant only for the front line workers until we have more of it sent to us’,’ Prof. Umoh emphasized. 
While the Commissioner sued for continuous cooperation of health workers in the state, he further assured that the vaccines were safe and duly certified by credible international health organizations.
The Health Boss also commended the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his support and commitment towards ensuring that  healthcare delivery in the state continue to receive priority attention through the provision of up-to-date medical facilities, recruitment of qualified health workers, training and retraining of other medical officers.
Highpoint of the event was the inoculation of one of the attending physicians serving at the Ituk Mbang Isolation center, Dr. Christian Nsikan, as first ever Akwa Ibom resident to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and to mark the official commencement of the exercise in the state.

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