Governors Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, were among the six governors, who took their COVID-19 vaccine yesterday as more states took delivery of their consignments.
Other governors who were administered with the vaccines yesterday include: Malam Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa and Abubakar Bello of Niger State.
This comes as additional states – Adamawa, Bauchi, Kwara, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, and Niger took delivery of their vaccines yesterday.
Bello; his deputy, Alhaji Mohammed Ketso, and members of the Niger State Executive Council yesterday took their jab of the vaccine in Minna, the state capital. The vaccine was administered to the governor by his physician, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, at Government House.
Speaking after receiving his dosage, Bello said he received a lot of calls and text messages particularly from members of the executive council on whether or not the vaccination should be allowed.
“We all need it, once it is done, we will be able to convince Niger residents that it is safe,” he said
He directed that any member of the state executive council that did not submit his or herself for the vaccination should not be allowed into the Council Chambers.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Muhammad Makunsidi, said that the state received the first batch of 74,110 doses of COVID-19 vaccines which would be given to one per cent of the estimated population of Niger State.
El-Rufai also took the first dose, assuring the people that the vaccine is safe.
Sule alongside his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, received their inoculation in the Government House, Lafia about 11:00 am.
Speaking after receiving the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Sule said the vaccine was very safe and called on residents to disabuse their minds about any doubt.
Akeredolu took the first Jab alongside his deputy, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, at the Cocoa Conference Centre, Governor’s Office, Alagbaka, Akure.
The Osewawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo; Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi; former governors and former deputy governors were all invited to receive their dose.
Akeredolu said in line with the guidelines laid down by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the eligible population for the COVID-19 vaccination is citizens aged 18 years and above, including pregnant women.
He disclosed that the vaccination exercise would be rolled out in four phases, adding that the first recipients will be front-line health workers, COVID-19 Rapid Response Team, laboratory network, petrol station workers, policemen, and strategic leadership.
Fayemi and top members of his cabinet also received their jabs.
The governor and his deputy, Mr. Bisi Egbeyemi, were vaccinated at the State Executive Council Chambers, New Governor’s Office, Ado Ekiti.
The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye; the governor’s wife, Bisi; and others received theirs at a ceremony held at the State Pavilion in Fajuyi area of Ado Ekiti.
Fayemi while speaking at the event said a total of 50,000 persons, consisting of top government officials, frontline medical personnel, and other public officers would be vaccinated in the first phase of the exercise.
Osun State Governor, Oyetola, also took the vaccine at the Government House, Osogbo.
It was administered by the Chief Medical Director, Osun State University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Prof. Peter Olaitan.
The vaccine was also administered on his wife, Kafayat; the Deputy Governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi, and some senior officials of the government.
Oyetola said the decision to be part of the first set of citizens to take the vaccine was to build confidence in the public, particularly citizens and residents of the state that the vaccine is safe.
The governor noted that the move is also aimed to demonstrate leadership after some of the frontline medical personnel had been vaccinated accordingly.
More States Receive Consignments
Meanwhile, more states yesterday took delivery of the vaccine.
The Adamawa State Chairman of the COVID-19 Containment Committee and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Bashiru Ahmed confirmed that the state received 59,200 doses of the COVID 19 vaccine on Tuesday night.
Ahmed said the committee had trained some health personnel drawn across the 21 local government areas on how to administer the vaccine.
Enugu State Government alongside Ebonyi and Anambra states, also yesterday took delivery of the first batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
The vaccine for Enugu State, which arrived the Enugu airport about 2:50 pm, through Allied Air, was received on behalf of the Enugu State government by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi; the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi; the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. George Ugwu, and heads of Development Partners in the state, such as World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, among others.
Speaking to journalists, Obi said the state government was highly delighted that the long-awaited vaccine had arrived the state.
Kwara State government’s consignment was received by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Abubakar Ayinla, at the Ilorin International Airport.
Speaking with journalists during the event, the Executive Secretary Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Nusirat Elelu, said the state was excited to take delivery.
Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Senator Baba Tela, also, yesterday took delivery of the state’s allocation, promising that the state government will commence vaccination today.
States such as Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Oyo and Taraba were yet to receive allocations yesterday.
Lagos to Begin Vaccine Rollout Weekend
In a related development, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said the vaccine would be rolled out this weekend.
Sanwo-Olu said a steering committee set up for its administration is in its final stage of preparation for its deployment, explaining that the state has a clear-cut strategy for the vaccine distribution.
The governor spoke when he received the country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Walter Mulombo, during a courtesy visit at the Government House, Alausa.
The first consignment of 507,000 doses provided by the federal government arrived in Lagos on Tuesday.
Sanwo-Olu said he was optimistic that the vaccine rollout would be successfully implemented, adding that the State’s Primary Healthcare Board would lead the effort in achieving herd immunity.
He said: “We have instituted a steering committee for the vaccine administration, which comprises health practitioners in the public and private sectors. They have designed a robust vaccine implementation strategy and they have identified various segments of our citizens who need to get first and in what order.
“Working with the State Primary Healthcare Board, we will start administering the vaccine by the weekend. We are leading from the front to convince our citizens that the vaccine is needed to build resistance, especially among frontline workers and those who have underlying issues.”
The governor said the curve of the second wave of the virus had been flattened in Lagos, but added that the State still faced some challenging issues in the response. He said the state had put in place an elaborate process to ensure the vaccine administration succeeds.
Sanwo-Olu said health remained a critical component of his administration’s programmes in boosting human capital index, while also pledging the State’s readiness to partner with W.H.O in new areas of collaboration.
Mulombo said the W.H.O recognised the Lagos State government’s contribution towards making Nigeria polio-free.