By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Administration yesterday flagged off COVID-19 vaccination for residents of Abuja, the nation’s capital city, just as it assured unhindered and stress free access to the vaccines.
Performing the exercise at the Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, noted that the launching was the single largest vaccination programme ever in the FCT, to herald decisive victory over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aliyu added that Abuja being the seat of the Federal Government and melting pot of the nation has been challenged by the pandemic.
She stated that in readiness for the COVID-19 vaccination, the FCT, through the FCT Primary Healthcare Board and partners, completed a Cold Chain Preparedness assessment and trained all members of the 65 vaccination teams, adding that the FCT can safely store, deliver and administer the vaccines required to immunise all residents in this first phase of COVID-19 vaccination.
The Minister reiterated that the FCT had in the past led the way in several vaccination campaigns against diseases such as polio, measles and meningitis, while assuring that this vaccination exercise would not be different as the administration was committed to ensuring that the FCT serves as an example to other states in surpassing all COVID-19 vaccination targets.
“The FCTA will resolutely enforce all the National Guidelines and ensure that all stages of the vaccine roll-out are equitably and fairly implemented and all the 227,480 doses received are accounted for.
“For a start, vaccination roll-out is expected from today for frontline health and non-health workers in all private and public COVID-19 isolation centres, treatment and laboratory centres, in the FCT.
“Other health workers, strategic leaders, military and paramilitary, as well as FCTA/FCDA personnel will continue to receive theirs over the next 10-day work period. We may consider an extension of time for catch-up for those who may miss their appointments,” Aliyu added.
Earlier in his remarks, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, urged residents in the FCT to avail themselves of the opportunity to ensure that residents are vaccinated as the leadership of the administration would continue to promote unhindered and stress free access to its citizenry to get vaccinated
According to him, “the administration will advice and continue to ensure strict compliance to the COVIS-19 protocols. As its always adviced, prevention is better than cure, we will therefore continue to advocate and enforce the existing protocols to ensure the safety of our teeming populace. You can be assured the leadership will not relent in its determination towards the welfare of the citizenry of the FCT”.
In a goodwill message, Ona of Abaji and Chairman FCT Council of Chiefs, Alh Adamu Baba-Yunusa, assured that the Royal fathers will take the cardinal message to the people especially those in rural areas.
He however urged the FCTA to ensure that there are adequate vaccines for all interested people to take their jabs.