From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A total of 85,700 residents of Delta State are expected to receive the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine beginning on Friday, March 12.
This follows the arrival of the vaccine on Wednesday night at the Asaba airport in the state capital.
Briefing reporters on Thursday, Commissioner for Health Dr Mordi Ononye said frontline healthcare service providers would be given priority in administering the vaccines.
Ononye said Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and other strategic political leaders in the state would also be considered first in the vaccination process.
He explained that the 85,700 doses of the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine are the first tranche of vaccine expected, adding that when the second tranche arrives, the recipients of the first tranche would complete their dosages in the vaccination process.
Ononye urged residents to disregard apprehensions about the vaccine, urging them to take advantage of the arrival of the Oxford-AstraZeneca doses to boost their immunity against COVID-19.
The health commissioner said the use of the vaccine would enhance immunity and reduce the chances of infection, noting also that the vaccine is free and safe.
Stating that personnel have been trained specifically for the administration of the vaccine, Ononye disclosed that the vaccine could be accessed across the 64 state hospitals and some select primary healthcare centres.
On preservation, the commissioner said: ‘We have put in place a robust plan to preserve these vaccines, so the issue of preservation is not a challenge. Delta State over the years has developed proper storage facilities.’