COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective – Gov Ortom

By Brenda Agba

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has assured that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe as well as effective and urged Benue people to avail themselves the opportunity to be vaccinated against the disease.

Governor Ortom gave the assurance during the state flag-off of the COVID-19 Vaccination Roll Out in Benue State which was held recently in Makurdi at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi.

The governor who was represented at the occasion by the Benue State  Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea, acknowledged the tireless efforts of health experts in finding solutions to the pandemic and expressed optimism that the vaccine will yield the desired results.

Speaking further, the governor said his administration will continue to support government policies, especially in the health sector for the benefit of Benue people.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Benue State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Bem Ageda, explained that following the receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine last week, the board commenced training of 133 teams of health personnel at the state, local government and ward levels on how to handle as well as administer the vaccine.

According to him, the vaccine will be introduced in a phased manner with the first phase targeting health care workers, front line workers, ports of entry (air, land and sea), the Military, COVID-19 Rapid Response Team (RRT), laboratory network, police men, petrol station workers and contingency.

“The second phase targets those aged fifty years and above together with people with co-morbidities aged eighteen to forty nine years even as the third phase targets those with high disease burden and who missed phases one and two while the fourth phase closes the gap with the vaccination of other populations as vaccines become available,” he stated.

In his closing remarks, the Director, Disease Control and Immunization, Benue State Primary Health Care Board, Joseph Korave, commended the Federal and Benue State governments together with other stakeholders for their efforts in making the COVID-19 vaccine available while assuring that the board will do its best towards ensuring that it gets to the people at all levels.

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Joseph Ngbea, in a chat with journalists shortly after receiving a shot of the vaccine noted that those vaccinated may experience some adverse effects like mild fever and pain around the injected area which according to him are associated with other vaccines and should not be a source of worry.

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