Benin City: The Nigerian Red Cross Society, Edo State branch had emphasized the importance of Covid-19 vaccines for a safe and healthy nation. As a result of this, a roadshow round the major roads of Benin City to sensitize the residents on the importance of Covid-19 vaccination was organized. The Edo Red Cross said this was imperative because more persons are getting infected by Covid-19 on a daily basis. There was on-the-spot vaccination of beneficiaries in the course of the roadshow.

Speaking, Health Education Officer – Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA), and Covid-19 Response and Risk Communication Pillar Lead – Mrs. Uabor Irene said the roadshow which was sponsored by the Coca-Cola Foundation, was meant to create awareness for residents of Benin City about the Covid-19 vaccination, saying the vaccination is still ongoing for the ages of 18 years and above in all the Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) and designated post around the city.

Mrs Uabor said the roadshow complement the SCALE 3.0 program, implemented by the Nigerian Red Cross Society. She said this affords the opportunity to see mobile vaccination posts in designated areas of Benin City. According to her, “organizations are free to reach the Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) to request for vaccination team.

“The major issue is that most people get vaccinated once, and then you don’t see them again. The only exception to this is when one takes a single dose of Johnson and Johnson.

“Partial vaccination does not give full protection. Those that took single vaccination can go for Boosterdose. Even when the time frame has passed, you can still get vaccinated.

“Our elders are advised particularly to get vaccinated because they are more susceptible. 12 years to 17 years can also be vaccinated if they are traveling out of the country,” said the Health Education Officer.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Edo State branch – Comrade Festus Alenkhe, JP, represented by the Vice-Chairman- Mr Edogiawerie Monday, said the roadshow was timely because covid-19 still remain real, and it’s not a scam.

“A lot of persons are still coming down with Covid-19. The vaccine is safe, effective and given free of charge.

Also speaking, the representative of the National Headquarters of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Ms. Nwakama Chinwe said the roadshow was to sensitive the Edo residents on the importance of Covid-19 vaccine and the proper way to take it.

“We are moving towards a covid-19 free country. This is made possible with the vaccination exercises that are currently ongoing, except if there are imported cases from other countries.

“The objective of the Covid-19 vaccination initiative is to have a Covid-19 free country. This can be made possible via the vaccination exercises that are currently ongoing in collaboration with the PHC and financial support from Coca-Cola foundation and the IFRC, We are creating awareness and demand for the vaccine by letting people know that the vaccine is free and safe We are also letting people know the various fixed posts where the Covid 19 Vaccine can be accessed in Benin

In his remark, the Edo State branch Secretary of the Nigerian Red Cross Society – Mr. Wilson Ekhomogiazin said the exercise was also meant to inform the people that are taking the vaccine, that, there is still need to follow the laid down protocol so as to ensure their protection and the protection of those they come in contact with. “This is because the vaccines are safe, and getting vaccinated will help protect you against Covid-19. But you have to keep to the laid down protocol,” Mr. Ekhomogiazin said.

He thanked the Edo State Government and the Coca-Cola Foundation for intensifying efforts in making covid-19 vaccines available to the people of Edo State. He said the Edo State branch of the Nigerian Red Cross Society was always ready to partner with the state government and the Coca-Cola Foundation in moving the campaign further.