By Egufe Yafugborhi, PORT HARCOURT
RIVERS State Government on Tuesday kicked off vaccination against Covid-19 with Governor Nyesom Wike expressing confidence of the vaccine type being administered, beginning with frontline health workers.
The Governor, represented by his deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, noted at the flag-off in Government House, Port Harcourt, that Covid-19, since December 2019 outbreak has disrupted the livelihoods and the health of many homes.
He said, “We are therefore thankful to God to have another layer of medical intervention in the vaccine to help reduce infection, promote immunity, and restore social confidence. The vaccines used in this campaign have received authorisation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and therefore effective and safe for administration.
“They will help reduce disease transmission, severity, and death from Covid-19. I encourage you to follow the guidelines for the vaccine roll-out and avail yourselves the opportunity to be protected from this deadly virus and to protect others.
“This first phase of the vaccination is mainly for frontline healthcare workers and strategic leaders. In the following weeks, more citizens will have the opportunity to get vaccinated.”
Rivers Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike said, “It is easy for people to forget when certain things happen. From March 2020, the governor himself visited churches, places of worships and other places of public gathering to make sure the protocol of Covid-19 were kept.
“Executive Orders were also approved by Rivers State Executive Council and signed by him. A lot of resources have been put into combating Covid-19 in Rivers State.
“With a particular test of covid-19 costing N50 thousand, for now, Rivers State has collected over 135 thousand samples, and the cost borne by the Rivers State Government.”
The State Deputy Governor, Dr Harry-Banigo, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor, State Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Desmond Akawor, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Chike, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Emeka Woke and Dr Peter Medee, Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources we’re vaccinated among several other government functionaries.