From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday flagged off mass vaccination for 2,136,000 residents of the state against COVID-19 pandemic, as well as booster doses for people that had taken the first two jabs of the vaccines.
Besides, the governor took the booster dose of the vaccine at the flag off ceremony, held at Aleshinloye Market, Ibadan. The booster dose was administered on him by the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Muideen Olatunji, on the sidelines of the flag off ceremony.
The flag off ceremony was witnessed by the deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin; and other top government functionaries, including Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo, as well as development partners, including World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BA-N) and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, was represented by the Ekefa Olubadan, Oloye Lekan Alabi. The roll call also included the Chairman, Ibadan South West Local Government, Akande Kehinde, as well as market leaders in the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Makinde, who commended the development partners, especially WHO and UNICEF, for donating the vaccines free to the state, assured that the vaccines would also be given to people from 18 years a d above. He urged religious and traditional rulers to key into the mass vaccination exercise and the the message to the followers and subjects towards curtailment, containment and prevention of COVID-19 in the state.
The governor noted that it is now two years that the first case of COVID-19 was discovered, adding that people had thought the virus would go away within three months, before the reality dawned on them that the virus would still be with the world for some time. He recalled that the Spanish Flu that bedevilled the world in 1916 has not gone into extinction till date, only that Africans do not feel the severity of it, but only in common cold.
Makinde described the mass vaccination exercise as another logical step taken by his administration to prevent the spread of the virus. He urged residents of the 33 local government areas of the state to take the advantage so that they could get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The governor, who noted that in the previous vaccination exercises, only six per cent of the population of the state had been vaccinated, as alluded to by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo. He stated that the percentage would be jerked up astronomically with the mass vaccination exercise.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ladipo, in his address earlierq, said over 722,000 people across the state has been vaccinated, while just more than 200,000 have been fully vaccinated in the state. He added that at the Tuesday morning, about 420 people have been vaccinated with booster dose.
He stated further that right from March 21, 2020 when Governor Makinde inaugurated thr COVID-19 Taskforce in the state, about 75,000 people have been tested, while 9,300 of them were positive.
Within the last seven days, According to him, the recorded 417 people that tested positive, while two days back, the state recorded 122 cases. He attributed the increment in the infection rates to movements across the borders as a result of the festivities at the moment.