The Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong has urged Cross Riverians not to believe the misconceptions and myths surrounding COVID-19 vaccines that are soon to be introduced in Nigeria even as she called on the Federal Government to expedite actions on the availability of the vaccines for all Nigerians.
The DG made the call recently in an interview to sensitize people on the demand for COVID-19 vaccines which is considered the most effective remedy to check the spread of the virus as well as its resultant morbidity and mortality.
Dr Ekpenyong noted that just like every other vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines will help boost the immunity and fight against complications that may arise from contacts with infected persons even as the world awaits a permanent treatment and prophylaxis for the new strain of the avian influnza.
She noted that with Cross River State already ranked among top perfoming states on immunization exercise across the country, the state and its people are assured of a viable and potent vaccines, which would meet all international requirements and certified by both the Nigerian Medical Association, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Standard Organization of Nigeria and other monitoring and regulatory bodies.
She, however, called on the Federal Government to utilize all federal mechanism to intensify information dissemination on the COVID-19 vaccines, while states should also intensify sensitization and awareness to help stop the spread of fake news and unverified myths against the vaccines.
She called on Cross Rivererians to embrace the vaccines and ensure they receive them when available, while also appealing to rumour mongers to desist from spreading false information about the vaccines. She also called on traditional rulers, religious leaders, CSOs, CBOs and other key influencers to lend their voice and support the state government to ensure Cross Rivererians take vaccines when available to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
With a total confirmed case of 108,943 people and 1420 deaths as of Saturday, January 16th 2020, the need to boost the immunity of Nigerians especially the elderly and others on essential duties cannot be overemphasized and this has neccesitated the purchase of 100,000 vaccines for the first batch which is expected in the country between the end of January and early February for onward commencement of immunization.
Aside vaccination, the easiest means of preventing oneself from contracting the virus include, regular hand wash, use of facemask, application of alcohol based hand sanitizer and as well as the maintenance of social distancing.