By Johnpaul Anih, 10/3/2021
Enugu State Government alongside Ebonyi and Anambra states, on Wednesday, took delivery of the first batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
The vaccines for Enugu State, which arrived the Enugu airport at about 2:50pm, through Allied Air, were received on behalf of the state government by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi, the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. George Ugwu, and heads of Development Partners in the state, such as World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, among others.
Speaking to newsmen, the Enugu State Health Commissioner, Dr. Obi, said that the state government feels highly delighted that the long-awaited vaccines have arrived the state.
Dr. Obi said that the state’s health sector is grateful to the Federal Government, its agencies especially the NPHCDA, the Enugu State government, its Development Partners, and all those that have made it possible, stressing that “seeing and touching is believing”.
He stressed that it was a thing of joy that one of the measures for stemming the tide of COVID-19 has arrived Enugu State, adding that “the contingents to receive Enugu State’s vaccines are all on ground”.
The Health Commissioner therefore encouraged the people of Enugu State that “this is real; this is a measure against COVID-19; it is here to stay and our people should embrace these measures that are being used to stem the tide of COVID-19”.
Disclosing that the Enugu State government has provided the needed logistics for administering the vaccines, such as health personnel, security and storage facilities, the Commissioner advised residents of the state not to relent in strictly observing other precautionary measures for the containment of the pandemic such as use of facemasks, washing of hands with soap and running water and observing of social distancing.
He revealed that vaccination will take place in four phases, explaining that the first phase will be administered effectively to health frontline workers, elderly people with underlying illnesses, and some key stakeholders in the state, among others “as already identified and announced in the news”.
Dr. Obi assured that all those who are qualified to receive the vaccines will be vaccinated at the end of the four phases, pointing out that “it is free of charge”.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ugwu, reassured that the agency is ready and has the necessary cool-chain equipment to deliver the vaccines to the citizens of the state.