The Anambra State government has begun administration of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to protect residents, especially health workers, security men, the elderly and critical leaders, against the pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government on March 10 received 78,810 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Abuja.
The government began a state-wide vaccination on March 18.
Flagging-off administration of the second dose in Awka yesterday, Governor Willie Obiano urged residents who took the first jab to endeavour to take the second jab to complete their dosage and get protected.
Obiano who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, said the government was determined to ensure successful COVID-19 vaccination.
“The vaccination commenced effectively from June 1 to July 10 at designated health facilities.
“We have an average of two vaccination centres per Local Government Area (LGA).
“While these locations will be displayed at the LGA immunisation offices, residents can also call the Anambra State Public Health Emergency Operation to get updates on designated vaccination locations.
“We urge all stakeholders at various levels in the state to support in sensitising their subjects about the benefits and importance of completing their vaccination.
“Also, vaccination is not a substitute for discontinuation of observation of COVID-19 protocols, ” he said.
Obiano praised the state health team and partners including NPHCDA, World Health Organisation, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, for making the vaccination possible.
Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said about 33,691 people had been vaccinated since March 18.
According to Ezenyimulu, the number represented 86 per cent of the target population for the first dose.
“Now, we are rolling out the second dose and we urge residents to turn out en-mass to be fully vaccinated as they are now sure of total immunity after taking the second dose.
“The duration time from the first to second dose is between six to 12 weeks. Anybody who has taken the first dose and it is up to six weeks, is free to come for the second dose,’’ Ezenyimulu said.
Dr Edward Okeke, a representative of the World Health Organisation, who spoke on behalf of all the partners, said there was the need to emphasise that the COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective.
Okeke said the partners would continue to provide Anambra and the entire Nigeria with the necessary support and guidance to end the pandemic.(NAN)