The Director-General, Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA), Janet Ekpenyong, has said the state has started the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the public across its 28 local government areas.
She stated this in Calabar while speaking to journalists at the end of a meeting on the COVID-19 roll out in the state on Friday.
Ms Ekpenyong said Cross River received 53,840 doses of the vaccine from the federal government.
According to her, 19 persons, including frontline workers, had on March 11, taken the vaccine.
“This was to convince people that it is safe and not poisoned, as speculated by people in certain quarters,” she said.
She added that the vaccination would last for 10 days, from March 19, until March 29.
“The first group targeted for vaccination are health and frontline workers, people from 50 years and above, then 18 years and above.
“We are hoping that the state will, by next year, attain 70 per cent coverage,” she said.
Also, speaking, the Director, Disease Surveillance in the state, Joy Chabo, said that 95 sites spread across the 18 local government areas of the state were designated for the exercise.
Mrs Chabo said her office had successfully trained Vaccine Accountability Officers (VAOs) as well as installed Solar-Driven Device for the potency of the vaccines.
“We have also trained Chief Orientation and Mobilisation Officers (COMOs) at the local government levels to sustain sensitisation and orientation of people at the grassroots to the importance of taking the vaccine,” she said.
She said the Monitoring and Evaluation Department was in charge of electronic registration and data collection and for the recording of adverse conditions, if any, during the exercise.
“Health workers are already well trained to write a report every day.
“The COVID-19 state team will be holding meetings every evening, starting from 5 p.m. to ensure that everything moves smoothly until the end of the exercise,’’ Mrs Chabo said.
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