• Friday, July 19, 2024
businessday logo


Akwa Ibom to deploy motorised mobile vans for COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign

Akwa Ibom worries over low COVID-19 vaccination coverage

The Akwa Ibom government has announced plans to deploy motorised mobile vans for the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign aimed at reaching 2.5 million people in a month as the state kick-starts its third rollout.

Nigeria has recorded 1,424 new COVID-19 cases across 14 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Thursday with three confirmed cases in Akwa Ibom according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The first and second phases of the campaign had been carried out in the state before and after the delta variant of the virus which has already claimed many lives nationally.

The Commissioner of Health, Augustine Vincent Umoh announced this during the launch of the third phase of the mass vaccination campaign at the primary health centre in Uyo, the state capital which attracted women groups, traditional rulers, health professionals and other top government officials in addition to the representative of the World Health Organisation and Breakthrough Action Nigeria, a key partner working with the state government.

“We are gathered to kick start the mass vaccination campaign, the third phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, we will have the chance against the disease if we all receive the vaccine to protect us against developing the disease or prevent us from having the worst form of the disease.

“The state is aligning with the national drive of stopping the virus and is therefore joining all the other 35 states of the federation and the federal capital territory in rolling out this vaccination exercise.

Umoh, who stated that the state government had taken delivery of enough vaccines to reach all parts of the state reiterated the potency and safety of the vaccines and urged the people to avail themselves of the mass campaign as part of efforts by the state government to ensure the safety of lives of the people.

“Take the word across to all parts of the state, our vaccines are good and potent, we have taken the vaccines, the people, please step forward and take the vaccination for the good health of yourself and that of your loved ones,’’ he said.

Read also: NEPC trains Cross River youths on non-oil export

He thanked the governor for his role model fight against the virus and for providing quality health facilities in the state and in upgrading the existing secondary health facilities across the state which according to him has proved that the governor is health friendly.

This ceremony is a demonstration of the state government’s belief and support for the vaccination campaign saying that top government officials had already received the vaccines proving their safety and potency.

He said the vaccination campaign started in March last year for the first phase as outlined by the National Primary Health Development Agency starting with health workers, adding that it would continue until every vulnerable person in the state received the vaccine.

“Persons less than 18 years of age are not eligible, immunisation will be at designated health centres and other designated centres, places of worship, market and village centres and those designated as temporary fixed posts.

“We shall also make use of mobile vans that will move from place to place to deliver the vaccines to the eligible people. Let me also express appreciation to all the partners working with the state government to achieve the goal of delivering vaccines to the people.

Speaking also, Enangama Victor, Senior Programme Manager, Breakthrough Action, Country office in Nigeria debunked the myth and rumours about the vaccine saying people should be advocates of the vaccination campaign having seen the effectiveness and efficacy.

He said all hands must be on deck for the success of the exercise and expressed the hope the target would be surpassed saying the large turnout of people for the exercise has been encouraging.

“That is our drive, our role as partners from Breakthrough Action Nigeria is to work together with the state government, get people to be conscious of the fact that they need to be vaccinated and get them to be aware of the need for vaccination and debunk the myths and rumours about the vaccine.

“It is natural to have reactions, some people do have reactions, it does not last forever, it is natural to have reactions, it is not a permanent reaction. I am hopeful that the target will be surpassed, I am looking at about 80 percent of the population.”