By GEORGE ODOK
CALABAR- No Fewer than 500,000 residents have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Cross River.
Dr Janet Ekpenyong, the Director-General of Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Calabar.
According to her, the figure reflects the vaccination stage from March 2021 to Oct. 2022.
She told NAN that the target was to ensure that at least 1.5 million people were vaccinated by the end of December.
Ekpenyong, however, said that if the target was not met due to low turnout of residents of the state to take the vaccine, the agency would meet the target by first quarter of 2023.
She called on residents in the state to visit any primary healthcare centre close to them for the vaccine, adding that it was safe and free.
“Between March 2021 and Oct. 2022, 500,000 residents in Cross River have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have to decentralise the whole process, we are vaccinating at health facilities and outreach sites and also moving from one place to the other.
“We were able to achieve this with the support of key stakeholders, the media, and politicians as well as traditional and religious leaders among others.
“We had to create a sustained awareness to educate the people that the vaccine was safe, hence we had some key leaders in the society such as the Obong of Calabar who was one of the first set of persons to take the vaccine,” she said.
She told NAN that the agency was collaborating with international partners such as the World Health Organisation, United Children Emergency Fund and others, that are helping the agency to drive the vaccination process. (NAN)