OLUWAROTIMI Akeredolu, Ondo State governor, has taken the first shot of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, assuring the people of the state that it is safe.
The governor, who took the first shot alongside his deputy, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, at the Cocoa Conference Center, Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure, On Wednesday, said the state received a total of 73,570 doses of the vaccine from the federal government on Tuesday.
He said in line with the guidelines laid down by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the eligible population for the COVID-19 vaccinations were citizens aged 18 years and above, including pregnant women.
Akeredolu disclosed that the vaccination exercise would be rolled out in four phases, adding that the first recipients would be frontline health workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network group, petrol station workers, policemen, and strategic leaders
“In the phase two, the recipients will be older adults aged 50 years and above; those with co-morbidities aged 18-49 years
“The phase three will be those in local government areas with high disease burden who missed phases 1 & 2 while the phase four will be other eligible population as vaccines become more available,” the governor stated.
He assured the people of the state that the Ondo State Cold Chain was fully functional and ready to receive and properly store the COVID-19 vaccine doses.
“Furthermore, to be able to partake of the COVID-19 vaccination, an e-registration link has been created for eligible Nigerians to register. You will be able to put in your details and choose a convenient place and time where you wish to be vaccinated.
“I use this opportunity to implore Ondo State citizens to shun the unfounded rumours about the COVID-19 vaccine. Let me assure you that the vaccines have been tested and certified safe for use by reputable international organizations and NAFDAC.
“While it is true that you are not 100 percent prevented from getting infected after vaccination, you are less likely to get seriously sick or die from the infection if you get it and also less likely to infect other people.” Akeredolu explained.
The governor charged all local government chairmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders and health workers to step up intensive sensitisation activities for the people of the state to register and get themselves vaccinated.
Akeredolu said since the outbreak of the pandemic, his administration had continuously been seeking ways to combat the debilitating effects of the ravaging virus.
“Some of the measures we had put in place include the upgrading of the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) with more beds and equipment to admit infected patients, training of our IDH staff on handling of COVID-19 patients, roll-out of radio jingles, television adverts, other sensitisation and awareness tools to the general public,” he said.
“Motivation of our frontline health care workers in the state through the payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance and lately, the inauguration of our state-of-the-art Wahab Adegbenro Molecular and Public Health Laboratory to improve the testing capacity of the State.“