4,500 Enugu residents receive first jab of COVID-19 vaccine

At least 4,500 residents of Enugu State have received their first jabs of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine, a top official of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA) said.

The Executive Secretary of ENS-PHCDA, Dr George Ugwu, in Enugu on Friday said that the number represented those vaccinated as at 12 noon on Friday.

“In Enugu State, we have given the vaccine jabs to up to 4,500 without any adverse health reaction from those vaccinated already,” he said.

The state government on March 8 received 65,400 doses of the vaccine from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Abuja, and vaccination began across the state on March 19.

A total of 102 trained vaccination teams were deployed to five Primary Health Care (PHC) centres and two fixed post centres in each of the 17 local government areas of the state.

Ugwu said that those already vaccinated included health workers, critical/strategic leaders at both state and local government levels and some elderly persons.

“We are in the sixth day of the statewide PHC centres vaccination and we are doing tremendously well in terms of the number of people especially health workers, leaders and personalities vaccinated.

“But we have challenges of internet and electronic devices in that not all the people vaccinated and recorded have been reflected in the NPHCDA national data bank.

“However, we are moving ahead and the challenges are being fixed by the national and our state NPHCDA offices.

“Initially, a lot of people did not understand the reason for taking the preventive COVID-19 vaccines.

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“However, with massive public, interpersonal and leader-lead awareness creation, our people are taking their jabs in their numbers.

“We expect that within few days the number of those vaccinated will increase exponentially as more people can see and testify that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and free of charge,’’ he said.

Ugwu said the state government was currently partnering with strategic leaders at the grassroots – traditional, religious and opinion leaders – to get the message of the COVID-19 vaccine to their subjects, congregation and followers.

“For the medical workers, we are meeting with the heads of various medical associations so that they impress it on their members to present themselves for the vaccination.

“This first phase vaccination is primarily meant for them,’’ he said.

The executive secretary applauded Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for supporting the COVID-19 vaccination campaign to get to all residents of the state, notwithstanding their remote locations.

“Apart from financial and moral assistance to the agency, Gov. Ugwuanyi volunteered himself, to be publicly vaccinated.

“This has made the residents to believe in the efficacy and safety of the vaccine,’’ he added.

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