Benue begins vaccination of citizens

Benue State Government on Thursday flagged off the vaccination of its citizens against Covid-19 at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi, the state capital.

Governor Samuel Ortom in his speech said that the rapid spread of COVID-19 informed the need for an aggressive response and improved efforts to contain the infection.

Ortom said 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.

While calling on people of the state to voluntarily present themselves for COVID-l9 vaccination, the governor urged the people to make themselves 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 sanitiser; 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,” the governor said.

Also speaking at the occasion, Commissioner for Health, Dr Joseph Ngbea, disclosed that 73,810 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were sent to the state which he said had been distributed to all 23 local government areas of the state.

The commissioner said that the first phase of the vaccine 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.

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

“I am impressed with the turnout 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 body develops 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 they do what is called amplification. So, we do not go through the rigours of laboratory animals and that is why the vaccines was developed within a year.”


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