Delta Government has received the first batch of 85,700 doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca, Coronavirus (COVID-19), vaccine.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, disclosed this on Thursday while briefing newsmen in Government House, Asaba.
He noted that with the receipt of the vaccines, the state government would inaugurate the first phase of vaccination exercise on Friday, March 12, in Asaba.
He said that the vaccines would be moved to 64 general hospitals and other primary health care centres as locations to administer the vaccines across the 25 Local Government Areas of the state.
“The phase one of the immunisation would commence with an inauguration on Friday and it will be administered to persons from 18 years and above.
“This will target the strategic leaders. The governor and others will be vaccinated first, and then the front line health workers, the non health workers and the security agents will take their turns.
“The first phase is for 85,700 persons in the state who will also have the second dose in the next two weeks when the state receives its second batch of the vaccines.’’
Ononye said that those to administer the vaccines were already trained and were involved in immunisation programmes in the state.
He called on the people to come out and get immunised, adding that the vaccine is safe and has the potency to prevent severe impact of the infections should anybody contact the virus.
“There may be reactions but in case of any adverse effect after taking the vaccine, the trained personnel are there to identify and treat such persons free of charge.
“The State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has put modalities in place to keep the vaccines safe in cold chain stores as special vehicles were stationed to move the vaccines to various vaccination centres across the state.
“There are some misconceptions from some quarter because the vaccine is new but like polio vaccine and others, COVID-19 vaccine enhances ones immunity to suppress the infection.
He said that the vaccine is free, safe and effective; it is worth taking by anyone from 18 years and above.
Ononye said that those vaccinated would be given evidence of immunisation against COVID-19 in the state.
He disclosed that during the second wave of the COVID-19, the state recorded 705 confirmed cases with 20 deaths.
He stressed on the need for people to sustain all the COVID-19 protocols whether he or she has been vaccinated against the virus or not.
The commissioner was in company of the Chairman, Delta State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, (DSPHCDA) Dr Isioma Okobah, Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Austin Obidi and others.