By Ikeugonna Eleke
Investigations by Fides have shown that even though less than the supposed number of persons are yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccines in Anambra, the vaccines have become scarce in the state.
When Fides visited some of the designated centres for the administration of the vaccine, it was discovered that the vaccines had become scarce and could no longer be found anywhere.
A nurse working in a centre at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, who spoke to Fides on the condition of anonymity during a visit to the centre, said the vaccines delivered to the centre had finished.
‘You have to wait for the next batch of vaccines; the ones we were given have been exhausted.”
When asked which centre she knew still had the vaccines in stock, the nurse said she was sure there were no vaccines in the state.
It will be recalled that the state government had last month received 78, 810 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government.
The state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, while unveiling the vaccines in the state, stated that half of the vaccines would be administered to citizens of the state in the first round, while half would be kept back for the second dose to ensure that those who received the first would also be able to receive the second.
Checks showed that the state was supposed to administer 39, 405 doses, which is half of the total number received from the federal government.
Meanwhile, the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, says a total of 22, 861 persons had received the COVID-19 vaccine in the state.
With 22, 861 vaccines already administered out of the expected 39, 405 vaccines, Anambra can be said to have administered 65 per cent already.
Okpala said, ‘As of April 4th, the number of total persons vaccinated is 22, 861. Our campaign continues. With decreasing vaccine hesitancy, I see a situation where demand will outstrip supply.’
Already, investigations show that despite the apathy shown by some people against the reception of the vaccine, more people who have been visiting the various centres cannot access the vaccine, even though the number the vaccinated shows that there should be more left.
Attempts to further prod the State Commissioner for Health on why there was a shortage of the vaccine, despite less than the total number being administered, failed. Calls to his phones were neither taken nor returned.