Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom on Friday launched COVID-19 vaccination in the state and urged residents, especially those in the critical sectors, to embrace the exercise.
Emmanuel, represented by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, assured the people that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and had no life-threatening side effects.
He reminded the people that vaccines had over the years provided protection against non-treatable diseases.
The state government on March 10 took delivery of 69,030 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the Federal Government.
He said the vaccine had been subjected to conventional safety and quality assurance processes as well as gotten the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant bodies.
“I want to assure the people of Akwa Ibom State that the vaccines have been put through conventional safety and quality assurance processes and was largely approved by WHO and other relevant bodies.
“We started administration of the vaccine on health workers and I want to assure you that we have not gotten any report of life-threatening side effect,” he said.
He applauded efforts of scientists and researchers towards the discovery and production of coronavirus vaccines.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh, noted that vaccination was the last hope against non-treatable diseases and viruses.
Umoh charged the people to accept vaccination as a modality to control the spread of COVID-19 as well as protect oneself against contact or against worst form of the virus.
He said that apart from health workers, other categories of residents to receive the vaccine first were opinion leaders, top government functionaries, security personnel and senior citizens.
NAN reports that the highpoint of the event was the vaccination of the SSG, other top government functionaries and security chiefs. (NAN)