COVID-19:  Benue commence vaccination

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By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

Benue  State government on Thursday  commenced the vaccination of Astrazeneca vaccine against Covid-19 on the people of the State..

Governor Samuel Ortom performed the flagged off ceremony at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, (BSUTH), Makurdi, explained  that a lot of efforts have been made to control the Disease but the virus continues to spread at unprecedented level  affecting most vulnerable group, adding that the rapid spread required the need for an aggressive response and improved efforts to contain the infection.

The Governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Health and Human Services Dr. Joseph Ngbea , maintained that vaccination with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a critical part of Nigeria’s strategy to interrupt the COVID-19 pandemic and curb transmission of the virus.

He called on Benue people to voluntarily present themselves for COVID-l9 VACCINATION and be available to take the second dose in twelve(12) weeks time.

“As we take the Vaccine, we must also continue to observe COVID-19 prevention Protocols including frequent hand washing; use of alcohol based Hand sanitizer; maintenance of physical distance; use of face masks, etc

“I Wish to acknowledge the role of health workers and especially Benue COVID-19 Action Committee team led by HE, Deputy Governor for their roles in the control of this pandemic, some have lost their lives. The various roles and support of partners, Traditional and Religious leaders can never go unmentioned”, Ortom maintained.

On his part the State Commissioner for Health Dr. Joseph Ngbea disclosed that 73,810 doses were sent to the State which is just a drop in an Ocean, intimating they have been distributed to the 23 local government areas.

He said the first phase is for health workers who are in the frontline, people serving the public as well as strategic leaders, stating that government will give its contribution to acquire more vaccines.

“That is why I have taken the jab to represent strategic leaders and after that we will scale down.

“Am impressed with the turn out today because what we heard was that, there is a lot of confusion, rejection and all that but I keep saying that even if you take Panadol, you will have side effects and when you go up for injection, you must have pains.

“By vaccination, we are introducing antigens into the body and the bodydevelops antibodies.  The process of developing vaccines in the past is that you will introduce that virus into the laboratory animals.  Some will die and some that survive, will get their antibodies and you develop vaccines but today, scientists have developed more than that and do what is called amplification. So,  we do not go through the rigors of laboratory animals and that is why the vaccines was developed with a year” Ngbea explained.