By Olawale Ajimotokan
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo and the State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Priscilla Ngozi Emehelu, yesterday, received COVID-19 vaccinations, at the Government House, Enugu.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Hon. Philip Shaibu, also yesterday received their first jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Minister of State for FCT Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, who flagged off the exercise in Abuja yesterday, however, opted to be vaccinated privately.
The Commissioner for Police, FCT Command, CP Bala Ciroma; the Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev.Samson Jonah; the Chief Imam National Mosque, Abuja, Professor Ibrahim Ahmad Maqari; the Chairman, FCT Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa and several frontline healthcare workers in all private and public COVID-19 isolation centres, treatment and laboratory centres were among the individuals that received the jabs of AstraZeneca vaccines yesterday.
Ugwuanyi and the two others were the first key stakeholders in the state to receive the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
The event was witnessed by the wife of the governor, Mrs. Monica Ugochi Ugwuanyi; the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi; the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. George Ugwu, representatives of the Development Partners, and trained health personnel, among others.
The first recipient of the jab in the state, Dr. Okechukwu Ogbodo, a frontline health worker at ESUT Teaching Hospital Isolation and Treatment Centre, Enugu, had encouraged the people of Enugu State to take the vaccine saying: “I can tell you that almost 30 minutes after taking the vaccine I am hale and hearty; no reaction. So I want to encourage everybody in Enugu State to come and take this vaccine”.
Edo State, had on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 received the first batch of 81, 080 doses of the vaccine from the federal government, to be administered to about 40,000 people for the first and second jab, as each person is expected to take two doses at four to 12 weeks intervals.
Edo First Lady, Mrs. Besty Obaseki and the wife of deputy governor, Mrs. Maryann Shaibu were also yesterday inoculated against the virus.
Other dignitaries that were vaccinated include the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie; Chief Judge of the State, Chief Justice Esther Edigin; Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Hon. Marcus Onobun; Senator representing Edo South, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide; Senator representing Edo Central, Sen. Clifford Ordia and Senator Ehigie Uzamere.
Others are Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Benin, Rev. Augustine Akubeze; former National President of Pentecostal Fellowship (PFN), Rev. Felix Omobude; Chief Imam of Benin, Alhaji Abdufatah Enabulele and Edo State Police Commissioner, Philip Agbadu, among others.
The governor, after receiving the jab at the Government House in Benin City, as part of activities for the roll out of the vaccine in the state, assured the citizens that the vaccine is safe.
Obaseki noted, “The vaccine is safe; we understand the politics of vaccination particularly as it relates to this. When the polio vaccine was introduced several years ago, the same fears and uncertainty were expressed”.
The governor further commended President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for their efforts in containing the pandemic in the country.
In Abuja, the FCT Minister Muhammad Bello was absent at the official flag-off of mass COVID-19 vaccination yesterday.
However, the Minister of State for FCT, Aliyu described the event as the single largest vaccination exercise in the history of the FCT.
She said the 227, 480 doses of the vaccines allocated to the FCT would be judiciously administered.