Health workers in Bayelsa State have began recieving their first doses of the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the official Flag Off Ceremony held in Government House Yenagoa.
In continuation of the Flag Off Ceremony, the Healthcare workers converged in the premises of the Isolation Centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH) Okolobiri to recieve the vaccine.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Newton Igwele represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Inodu Apoku said it was important the flag off ceremony continues there because the Isolation facility has been a major center of activities in the state’s fight against the pandemic.
He also appreciated the contributions of the Federal Ministry of Health and other development partners in helping the state control the raging pandemic and record low casualties in comparison to other states in the nation.
Dr. Apoku expressed delight that the state has received the vaccine which is a very potent arsenal in curbing the spread of the virus, saying the second part of the Flag Off Ceremony is to let the Hospital and University Community know that an effective vaccine for COVID-19 has arrived the state.
He said the vaccines are safe, no one has had any side effect, and encouraged everyone to recieve the vaccination for their health and safety.
On his part, the Chief Medical Director NDUTH, Prof. Dimie Ogoina said there are always conspiracy theories sorrounding new medication but he assures the general public that the vaccines are safe and encouraged them to take it.
He said the hospital consists of frontliners and case managers that have been actively involved in managing cases of COVID-19, adding that vaccination is the most effective public health intervention for any disease.
Prof. Ogoina noted that the vaccination will reduce the burden they have in the hospital, saying arrangements have been made to start the vaccination in different hospitals across the state.
High point of the event was the vaccination and data capturing of the CMD, Permanent Secretary, Directors in the Ministry of Health and Bayelsa State Primary Health Care Board, Representatives of the WHO, UNICEF, NPHCDA, frontline health workers and other healthcare professionals.