Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State said his administration is in talks with manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccines with a view to procuring large amount of the vaccines to vaccinate people in the state.
He made the disclosure as stated that the facts, figures and data available in the state on COVID-19 have not indicated that there is a new wave, but a continuation of the first outbreak of the pandemic.
Makinde, who briefed journalists on Wednesday on the state of the virus in the state, said it has become imperative to take the step because the 1,800 units of vaccines for COVID-19 allocated to the state by the Federal Government would not be enough to vaccinate the state with a population of eight to 10 million people.
His words: “With recent happenings and talks of the second wave of COVID-19, I count it necessary that I address you. Let me start by talking about this issue of supposed second wave. I have always said all our responses to COVID-19 in Oyo State will be guided by data, science and logic.
“So, as far as Oyo State is concerned, the data we have is not pointing to a second wave as the curve was never flattened, to start with. For example, between when we started testing people in March 2020 and December 2020, we conducted 20,000 tests out of which about 3,000 were positive to COVID-19.
“By the NCDC guidelines, we tested mostly sick people who have direct interaction with those who have the virus. The NCDC have revised those guidelines and made testing open to accommodate more people, including those who may not even be showing any symptom.
“So, from December 2020 till date, we have conducted a further 14,000 test. And we have had about 696 positive cases. So, it is clear that we did not have flattening of the curve, rather, we have more people becoming more complacent and acting more as if the pandemic was over.”
On the issue of vaccines, Makinde stated that “the Federal Government, from what we read have allocated 1,800 vaccines for Oyo State and for the country, I understand that about a 100,000 vaccines are being procured.
“But first, in Oyo State, we don’t have the facility to store it at -70 degree centigrade and again, this number is grossly inadequate if you want to vaccinate over 100,000 people out of a population of almost 200million, it is not going to make any dent.
“For Oyo State with a population of about seven to 10million, 1,800 vaccines will not go anywhere. So, we are exploring other means of getting this vaccine to our people. I have been advised that the oestrogenic vaccine is more suitable for Oyo state due to storage instructions.
“So, we are opening discussions with manufacturers on how we can get as many as possible for our people. So, for now, the protocol remains the same.”