[From ANIEKAN ANIEKAN, (Calabar) INI BILLIE, (Uyo)]
Cross River and Akwa Ibom states, have taken delivery of several thousands of doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca brand of Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines from the Federal Government.
While about 53,840 doses arrived Calabar, the Cross River capital, the Akwa Ibom State Government received 69,030 doses.
The vaccines arrived the Margaret Ekpo International Airport aboard the CACOVID jet and was received by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Eteng Williams alongside the state commissioner for Health, Betta Edu.
Speaking after taking delivery of the vaccines, Edu confirmed the doses and said the equipment required to store it is ready.
She said vaccination will begin immediately with health workers and strategic leaders across the state.
“We have received 53,840 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and have already compiled the list of health workers in Cross River and will start with the health workers and strategic leaders.
“The vaccines will be stored in the cold chain equipment, which we presently do have in the state.
“We are beginning with the health workers and strategic leaders so as to remove any form of political or class attachment to it,” she said.
She added that the vaccines have been received in the cold boxes alongside all the medical consumables and accessories, which will be required to administer the vaccine.
Also speaking, Janet Ekpenyong the Director General of the state primary healthcare development agency said the state is prepared for the vaccines and all the LGAs have storage equipment that are in good shape.
She said the level of sensitization and awareness is very high and hoped that the people will match this by coming out to get their shots.
Julius Idoko, the state Coordinator of the National primary healthcare development agency said a logistics committee that will take charge of the cold store is in place.
He added that the Solar Direct Guide (SDG) is ready and assured the people of the state that they will be preserved in good condition.
In Akwa Ibom State, a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Ini Ememobong noted that the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh received the vaccines.
According to Ememobong, the vaccines, which would be preserved in the state cold chain facility would first be administered to frontline health care workers.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Vincent Umoh assured that the vaccines were safe and that the frontline health care workers would be the first to receive the vaccines.
“He also informed that the order of, and centers for, further phases of administration will be announced in due course,” the statement read.