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Uzodinma Flags-off Covid-19 Community Mass Vaccination in Imo

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Saby Elemba,  Owerri 

Governor Hope Uzodimma has flagged-off the Covid-19 Community Mass Vaccination in Imo State, this is as he appealed to the people to ignore all conspiracy theories concerning Covid-19 vaccination and submit themselves for the life saving exercise.

During the flag-off ceremony at Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu’s Square, Owerri   he commended President  for putting measures in place such as the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 and the National Centre for the Disease Control (NCDC), all of which were deployed to fight the pandemic.

He said  the government had done its best to slow down the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus in Imo State and that he was not prepared to relent in his efforts to ensure that the people’s lives were saved. He noted that his government established the Imo State Task Force on Covid-19, made massive investments in the best Isolation Centres in the country, bought state of the art ambulances and other protective equipment and critical medics that helped in making Imo record the lowest cases of the virus both in Nigeria and in the South East.

“Covid-19 tested the capability and capacity of the Shared Prosperity Government in Imo State but thanks to God and my team, as well as the health workers that worked assiduously to fight the pandemic that made Imo record the least number of deaths,” Uzodinma said.

The governor went  ahead to describe the Community Mass Vaccination Campaign as a formal flag-off “because already Imo State has started the vaccination,” and acknowledged the role of Imo State ministry of health and ministry of information and strategy for making the people aware of the need for the vaccination.

According to him,  the flag-off became necessary “because of the signals that Imo State is lagging behind in the scale of States with a particular number of vaccinated citizens.”

And, “To achieve a greater number of people being vaccinated there is an obvious need to go beyond allowing the vaccination to be left in the hands of the National Primary Healthcare Agency alone.”

The Governor noted that the flag-off also signaled the resolve of his government to “protect the Imo citizens against all diseases, viruses and pandemics both now and in the future as the vaccination from this day will be taken to the masses at the Community level.”

“The services of health workers are most needed now than ever as the vaccination moves to the Communities with a larger percentage of the population,” he said adding that to encourage them, his administration will “provide all they need to succeed in the onerous task,” he stated.

He had as a result, urged Imo people to make themselves available for the vaccination, emphasizing that refusal to get vaccinated may result to such dire consequences such as: people being restricted from entering and getting government attention, government workers being forced to show their vaccination cards before they are allowed into their offices, among others.

He reiterated that Imo State currently has enough stock of the various Covid-19 vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – for the vaccination and that “Imo citizens can be vaccinated in all the Health Centres in the 27 local government headquarters of the State.”

Dr. Prosper Success Ohayagha,  the commissioner for health  had earlier said that in an effort to carry out a successful Community Mass Vaccination, his ministry in collaboration with support groups, had trained a critical mass of manpower as well as volunteers in various pillars of response at both the State and local government levels.

Noting  that the Community Mass Vaccination supersedes the earlier strategies deployed in achieving Covid-19 pandemic control, re-emphasizing that “the vaccines are safe and effective.”

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