From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha

The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Reverend Paulinus Ezeokafor, has appealed to Anambra people to visit the designated health centres and take the COVID-19 vaccines, dousing fears of possible side effects of the vaccine as expressed in some quarters.

Speaking at St Andrew’s Parish, Adazi Nnukwu, in Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, while delivering a homily to mark this year’s Chrism Mass/Cathedraticum Celebration, Bishop Ezeokafor stressed the need for people to hearken to the call for COVID-19 vaccination by the government, acknowledging that no vaccine was entirely free from side effects, adding that the vaccine would help in no small measure in curbing the spread of the disease.

He stated that even though there were elements of insincerity on the side of the government, people should ignore that aspect and focus on that which, he said, would better their living and save them from contracting the disease.

He stated that COVID-19 was still very much around and deadly and admonished the people to keep to COVID-19 protocols by maintaining social distancing, washing their hands regularly and also wearing of facemasks at all times.

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The Local Ordinary stated that people should not allow the rumours making the rounds that the vaccine could be injurious to their health to discouraged and stopped them from getting vaccinated.

The outspoken cleric while speaking on the essence of the Chrism Mass cum Cathedraticum celebration charged Christians to always support their priests spiritually, physically and materially, saying that as followers of Christ, they should understand that priests were Christ’s representatives on earth and deserved to be encouraged and protected.

Bishop Ezeokafor enjoined the priests to endeavour to practice what they preached, noting that their primary assignment was to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, urging them to continue in their onerous task of winning souls for Christ.

Bishop Ezeokafor who described the Holy Thursday observation as a spiritual reawakening moment for all and sundry, urged Christians to imbibe the spirit of prayerfulness and be steadfast in pursuit of heavenly goal.