Akwa Ibom has vaccinated 25, 039 frontline workers against COVID-19, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh, said in Uyo on Wednesday.
“The total number of persons vaccinated in Akwa Ibom State as of April 19 is 25, 039,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“We were estimating about 33, 000 and now we have vaccinated 25, 039; that is fair enough.
“We received about 69, 030 doses from the Federal Government. We are administering only half of that for now,’’ Umoh said.
Akwa Ibom took delivery of 69, 030 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the Federal Government on March 10.
Umoh said that the state government was targeting to vaccinate about 33, 000 persons, mainly frontline workers in the first tranche.
He observed that people had misgivings about the vaccine initially, but that with much assurance from government on its safety and efficacy, the situation had improved.
He explained that the first tranche of vaccines was for a target population of frontline workers and that the true level of general acceptance would be determined when vaccination goes public.
“Hesitancy may not come in now because this batch of vaccines is for a particular group of people. That is health workers, security men and other frontline workers in the state.
“It is when we have enough vaccines to vaccinate the general population that we will understand clearly the issue of hesitancy. Then we will know whether people will come out willingly to take the vaccine or not.
“We are being cautious so that those who have taken the first dose will have the second dose. Once we receive more vaccines, it will go round for all the population in the state,’’ Umoh said.
The commissioner urged the people to continue to adhere strictly to COVID-19 safety protocols of wearing facemasks, maintaining social distancing and regular washing of hands.