*Governor Inuwa Yahaya set to flag-off vaccination
*Health Ministry targets frontline workers, others in phase 1 of exercise
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Gombe State Government has received delivery of its share of AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses, enough to cover 35,000 individuals slated for the first phase of the vaccination exercise in the state, including frontline workers and others.
According to a statement signed by the Director-General (Press Affairs) Government House Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, the Commissioner of Health, Dr.Habu Dahiru stated this while briefing journalists on the receipt of the COVID-19 vaccines consignment and preparations by the state government and other development partners to ensure a hitch-free exercise when it gets underway.
According to the Health Commissioner, the first phase of the vaccination doses will be administered on frontline health workers in public and private health facilities, rapid response and contact tracing teams as well as military and para- military organisations.
He said the second phase will be administered on the aged persons from 50 years and above while the third phase will be given to individuals with significant co-morbidity like asthma, hypertension and other chronic conditions, whereas the fouth phase will involve individuals at risk of contracting diseases.
“For this purpose, we have to prepare a robust team in Gombe State and we started with the planning meeting with our colleagues from the National Primary Health Care and development partners”.
He said the State Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Agency and development partners have triggered a robust plan which included a meeting to identify activities that will be conducted for a successful implementation of the vaccination exercise.
Dr. Habu Dahiru said to ensure the success of the vaccination, a ‘train the trainers’ workshop is underway at the state level and is expected to be cascaded to the local government areas for effective coverage.
He said those to administer the vaccines must be health workers who are certified to give injection and will be trained on side and method of administration of the AstraZeneca.
“Asisde from that, we are also going to do a micro plan to see what is required for us to have this immunization without any hitch in terms of all the needs and resources”
He said the Ministry of Health and other relevant Government agencies and development partners in the State will engage in community sensitisation activities to improve demand for the vaccines as well as the establishment of committees that will aid the successful implementation of the vaccination exercise.
These committees, as explained by the Commissioner of health, include that of waste management, vaccine accountability committee and Adverse Effects committee that will be on the lookout in the case of any reaction on the human body as a result of taking the vaccine.
“We are planning a State flag-off ceremony which will be performed by Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya to signal the roll out of the exercise”.
He said during the flag-off exercise, strategic leaders will be immunized as a symbolism for the citizens of the State to know and appreciate the safety of the AstraZeneca jab.
Dr. Habu Dahiru assured the people of the State that the covid-19 vaccine is safe and that the State Government has made all necessary arrangements to maintain its efficacy at the State, Local and ward levels.
“The vaccines are currently in our cold room which is big enough to accommodate all the vaccines of the North East and at the Local and Ward levels, the Inuwa Yahaya- led administration has provided solar powered refrigerators that are recommended for the storage of the covid-19 vaccine, he assured.