The Anambra State Government will roll out COVID-19 vaccination programme from March 18 to March 27.

The state Commissioner for Health, Vincent Okpala, disclosed this while briefing reporters in Awka on Wednesday.

Mr Okpala, a medical doctor, said Anambra received 78, 810 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government.

He said “the vaccine was a product of a rigorous scientific process and had been certified safe by multiple agencies abroad”.

According to him, the vaccine has also been certified safe and effective by local agencies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.

“The main objectives of the proposed COVID-19 vaccine introduction are to slow down and disrupt transmission of COVID-19 in all parts of the country, including Anambra State.

“The state Primary Health Care Development Agency is positioned to ensure effective vaccination in a phased manner as directed by the National COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction Strategic Team.

“The target groups for the phase l vaccination listed in order of priority are – frontline health workers, including laboratory networks, sample collection and contact tracing officers, as well as other health workers.

“Then we have strategic leaders such as the governor, deputy governor, speaker of state House of Assembly, chief judge, traditional and religious leaders who can influence the decision to accept COVID-19 vaccines among their citizens,” he said.

Procedure

The commissioner added that frontline workers in the non-health sectors such as security agents and paramilitary officers, as well as workers in the finance sector, oil and gas and others would get vaccinated in phase I.

He said those in the Phase II would include older adults of ages 50 and above and those with co-morbidities – from age 18 to 49.

He said the third phase would accommodate residents in local government areas with high disease burden “who missed phases I and II”.

According to him, the fourth phase will be for other eligible populations as more vaccines become available.

Mr Okpala said the vaccination would be at designated healthcare facilities, adding that there would be an average of three to five vaccination centres per local government area with a few special units.

“We are appealing to residents to visit their LGAs to get vaccinated. Remember that vaccination is not a substitute for discontinuation of observation of COVID-19 protocols,” he said.

(NAN)

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