From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, took the first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to flag off immunisation against the pandemic.
The jab was administered on him by the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Muideen Olatunji, at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan.
Secretary to the State Government, Olubamiwo Adeosun, was also vaccinated by Olatunji, who said recipients of the jabs may likely have mild reactions.
With the vaccination, Governor Makinde emerged the first male to receive the vaccine in the state, while Adeosun, also emerged the first female to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Frontline health workers, top government officials and some journalists, were also among people that received the jabs shortly after the ceremony.
Speaking after receiving the jab, Governor Makinde, assured the people that the vaccine is good for them. He said 127,740 doses of the vaccine came to the state from the Federal Government on March 10, and he ordered that samples should be taken to two virology centres for sterility test to determine whether the AstraZeneca vaccine imported from India was properly handled.
“When I was reading the newspaper this morning (yesterday), I saw that Oyo has not been given a single shot of the vaccine and zero was recorded for the state. Now, we, at least, have one for the state. And for states that have taken in their thousands, and are ahead, we will surely overtake them.
“I ordered for sterility test because when I asked questions about the origin of the vaccine, they said the batch sent to Nigeria came from India. It’s not that I don’t like India or believe in their product, but was concerned about the handling.
“They said the vaccine should be stored at a particular temperature. I wanted to validate the vaccines that we will give to the people have been correctly handled. Our two labs here, the Virology and Biorepository in the University College Hospital, Ibadan came with the same result that the vaccine is good and proper for the people. It didn’t take me 24 hours to accept and agree to come for this vaccination exercise.”
Commissioner for Health, Bashir Bello, said the result of the sterility test done by the state government, confirmed that the vaccine is free of any form of micro-bacteria, fungi and is strictly for COVID-19.
Olatunji said from March 10 to March 23, health workers were trained at the local government level on how to efficiently handle and administer the vaccine.
He said the vaccine came in two doses and that the first dose is a primer, while the second is a booster. But he said the two doses could not be taken together in the same week. The administrators of the jabs, he stated, would tell those taking the jabs when to come back for the second dose.
Meanwhile, Bello, said 8,101 persons tested positive for tuberculosis (TB) in 2020.
He put the total number of presumptive TB cases that were screened in 2020 at 51,731 out of which, 8,101 came out positive. A total of 327 patients, according to him, were also co-infected with TB and Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV).
Bello made the disclosure, yesterday, during a press conference to flag-off community outreach and awareness creation through motorised campaign on tuberculosis for 2021 World TB Day commemoration, at the car park of the Oyo State Ministry of Health, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
Stakeholders, including World Health Organisation, Damien Foundation Belgium, and Breakthrough Action-Nigeria (BA-N), partnered the Ministry of Health for the exercise.
The commemoration of the World TB Day in the state also featured motorised campaign from Ministry of Health, Agodi, Ibadan through Awolowo Junction at Bodija, Housing Corporation roundabouts, Elewure Junction to Poly Junction at Sango and Eleyele Roundabouts.
BA-N Coordinator, Oluwatoyin Afachung, and other partners were seen at Sango Market, educating traders on TB and also distributing fliers to them.
She said the organisation is currently working in 12 out of the 33 local government areas of the state, saying tuberculosis endemic areas in the 12 councils have been delineated and adequate steps were being taken to prevent and manage the zoonotic disease.