From Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
The Kwara State Government on Tuesday flagged off a mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in Ilorin, the state capital.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Governor Mr Kayode Alabi, who is also the chairman of the state task force on Immunisation, said that the occasion was meant to flag off a renewed commitment to ensure that the effect of the ravaging COVID-19 scourge is minimised on residents of the state.
The deputy governor, who encouraged all and sundry to ensure protection against COVID-19 by getting themselves vaccinated, said that the vaccines have been adjudged to be safe and devoid of serious Adverse Events Following immunisation.
‘The arrival of COVID-19 vaccine has brought a sigh of relief as we know, like other Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, COVID-19 vaccine will reduce the number of illnesses and deaths from the disease. The Kwara State Government under the leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq left no stone unturned to see that the introduction of the vaccine in the state suffered no hitch by promptly releasing counterpart funds to aid the implementation,’ he stated.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Nusirat Elelu, said that ‘currently, close to 400,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca and Moderna) have been administered in the state.’
Dr Elelu, who said that the state had not documented any serious adverse event following immunisation despite the number of people vaccinated, added that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) planned to vaccinate at least 50 per cent of the population with the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of January 2022.
In a goodwill message by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) at the event, the state coordinator of the agency, Mrs Deborah Oladipo, said that a total number of 5,891,305 eligible persons have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, representing only 5.3 per cent of the overall eligible population in the country.
Mrs Oladipo also said that a total number of 3,252,067 had received their second dose and are fully vaccinated, representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall population of eligible persons in the country.
‘As we are all aware, the overall population of eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination to enable the country to reach herd immunity against the disease is 111,776,503. With this figure, you will agree with me that this is a tiny fraction of our population. We still have a long way to go for a sizable number of our population to be fully vaccinated.
‘The year is gradually coming to an end and with its resultant flurry of activities. There will be a mass movement of people into and across the country. There will also be intra-state movements and gatherings in the forms of parties, celebrations. We cannot deny the fact that the virus is still very
much with us. Indeed, there has been an upsurge in the number of people infected with the virus in recent times according to the statistics released by the NCDC. This is why this mass vaccination campaign has become necessary to prepare against the flurry of activities and movements that we will soon be witnessing as the year is running out.’