From Everest Ezihe,Owerri
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo state at the weekend flagged-off the administration of Covid-19 vaccination and commended the Federal Government for the approval of the vaccine.
Performing the flagging-off ceremony at Imo State Primary Health Development Agency ISPHCDA along Umuguma Road New Owerri, the Governor Uzodimma informed that Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine which is approved by Nigerian government was also confirmed all over the world as the most safe, effective and permanent solution to the dreaded Corona Virus otherwise known as Covid-19.
As a demonstration of leadership by example and proof to the people that the vaccine is safe, GovernorUzodimma, his wife Barr. Chioma Uzodimma, Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku and his wife, Bola, got instant vaccination amidst cheers and goose pimples.
Also, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amara Chyna Iwuanyanwu, the Ag. Chief Judge, Justice Ijeoma Aguguo as well as frontline workers in the State were also administered with the Astrazeneca vaccine against the dreaded Covid-19.
According to the Governor before taking the vaccine injection: “If there is anyone who doesn’t want to die it is me. I want to give confidence to my people. I want them to see that government means well. I and my wife, Deputy Governor and his wife will take the vaccine right here today and we will be well protected from the virus.”
He passionately encouraged the people to make themselves available for the administration of the vaccine informing that it is being administered all over the world to citizens as the only solution to Covid-19 coupled with the preventive measures of regular hand washing, wearing of face mask, sanitizing and keeping social distancing.
Earlier in her address, the Executive Secretary, Imo State Primary Health Care Development Agency, ISPHCDA Rev. Sr. Maria-Joaness Uzoma thanked the Governor for all the efforts at uplifting the Primary Health Care Sector in the state especially through the provision of official vehicles, ambulances and other amenities needed for the smooth running of the Agency.
Speaking also, the representative of the World Health Organization, WHO on behalf of all partners appreciated Imo State Government for their supports in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in the State and said that the approval of the vaccine in Nigeria is a major step in the fight against the pandemic.
He pointed out their commitment in the continual support of the State Government technically so as to ensure that the vaccine reaches the targeted audience.
He also informed that the first phase of the vaccination was targeted at frontline personnel, including health workers, security agents, petrol station staff and laboratory technicians and those in leadership positions.
He further said that the vaccine administration will be available only through approved government channels accredited for the programme, and stressed that registration will be made before vaccination while certificate will be given after administration.
Adding her voice, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Damaris Osunkwo commended the Governor for his love for Imo people and efforts in ensuring that Imo is among the states that received the vaccine in this first phase.
She stressed the need to sensitize and educate people on the safety of the vaccine as it is the effective means of preventing the Covid-19.
Highlight of the event was the commissioning of Imo State Primary Health Care Development Agency, ISPHCDA permanent office by the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma.