By Stanley Nwanosike
The Enugu State Government, on Friday, said it received 65,400 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Abuja.
Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), disclosed this while flagging-off the vaccination of front-line health workers in the state at the Enugu State Isolation and Treatment Centre, Enugu.
Ugwu said that the state had trained and prepared 102 vaccination teams for the first batch of the vaccination, which would cut-across all health workers, selected strategic leaders and some other highly vulnerable people.
He said that vaccines had been moved directly to the state cold-chain store to preserve its efficacy.
The executive secretary said that the government had provided additional solar-powered electricity supply to ensure optimal working of the cold-chain store.
“We have put in place adequate physical security and for the first time, we will be having a security man attached to each of the 102 vaccination teams.
“We have just concluded intensive training for the key vaccinators and we are planning for a step-down training in council areas and ward levels.
“As we move the vaccine to council areas and ward levels, we have already arranged cold rooms where they would be kept to retain their normal cold temperature.
“At the council areas also, we are collaborating with council chairmen and traditional rulers to provide security for the vaccines and vaccinating teams.
“The vaccination will be given to its designated beneficiaries (health workers) at designated health centres and special designated posts,” he said.
According to him, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, secured and given free-of-charge and its efficiency and integrity are highly reliable and guaranteed.
Ugwu appreciated Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for supporting all efforts to ensure that the vaccine arrived the state and got to residents notwithstanding their location within the state.
Contributing, Prof Ikechukwu Obi, state’s Commissioner for Health, said he was optimistic that COVID-19 challenge would soon be over.
The commissioner said the forthcoming batches of the COVID-19 vaccines would get to everyone in the state.
Obi expressed satisfaction that the frontline health workers especially those that started fighting the pandemic from the first index case in the state in March 29, 2020 were given preference.
He, however, reminded resident to ensure that they continued to abide by all COVID-19 safety and preventive protocols as well as register online to take the vaccine doses.
The first health worker to receive the jabs in the state, Dr Okechukwu Ogbodo, said that the vaccine was safe and would relieve humanity and residents of the state from the health challenge of COVID-19.
Ogbodo, who is the Head of Enugu State Isolation and Treatment Centre, said: “I am hale and hearty after 30 minutes of taking the vaccine dose.
“Our people should discountenance the myths and lies against the vaccine.
“We have treated over 110 critical cases of COVID-19 patients in this centre and by the grace of God, we are abiding by the COVID-19 preventive protocols, we have not lost any worker here”.
Other front-line health workers given doses of the vaccine included; Dr Chikezie Obasi and a nurse, Mrs Nnenna Eze among others. (NAN)