The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe and their spouses were on Thursday injected with the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Others who received the vaccine are members of the State Executive Council and Local Government Council Chairmen.
They were vaccinated less than 24 hours after the state government took delivery of the 42,090 doses of the vaccine allocated to the state.
Governor Umahi alongside his Deputy were vaccinated by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezurike at the Governor’s office, New Government House complex Abakaliki.
Speaking shortly after receiving the vaccine, Governor Umahi warned against the commercialization of the vaccination.
He noted that such action would create room for fake vaccines to flood the state.
He directed the State Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe to monitor strictly the process of the vaccination and to ensure that those stipulated to receive the vaccine were all captured in the 13 local government areas of the state.
Umahi maintained that the vaccination should not be made compulsory but encouraged the health workers, people above 60 years of age and others to ensure they receive the vaccine to protect them from the dangers of the pandemic.
“We must ensure strict monitoring of the vaccination because if we did not monitor it closely, there are two things that will start happening, you will see the vaccine going outside the coffees of the ministry and then the people will be asked to pay money”.
“They will ask the people to pay money to be vaccinated. Then the fake covid-19 vaccination will also come in and that will kill our people. I don’t want anything that will kill our people. So I want this vaccination to be properly monitored.”
“I want everyone that will be vaccinated to fill a form and that form must be signed by the Deputy Governor and the Commissioner for Health before the vaccination will take place. The Deputy Governor must send to me daily how many persons have been vaccinated and at the end of every week the cumulative figure of the number of persons vaccinated.”
Giving a breakdown of those to be vaccinated, Governor Umahi said that the member state house of Assembly will be allocated 1000 doses, Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki 4000, the State Exco, their spouses and their children above 18 years, members of the Judiciary 1000 and security agencies 4000.
Others include Elderly people above 60 years 13000, Local Government Chairmen and their families 2500, State Civil Servants 3500, Local Government Civil Servants 3500, Government House Workers 1000 and others 2390.
He urged the task force to ensure that the vaccination must be completed within a period of 10 days to maintain its efficacy and urged the people to embrace the vaccination.
The commissioner of Health, Dr. Umezuruike said that the state is following the national guideline in the vaccination exercise and commended the State Governor and other strategic leaders for volunteering to be vaccinated.
He said that all the plans to ensure the success of the vaccination have been put in place adding that the health workers have been trained to give the vaccines.
He noted that the state has 5 centers in each local government area for the vaccination and assured the state governor of a smooth vaccination exercise.