By Ayinde Olaide
Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state, his wife, Hajiya Aisha Mohammed, and some members of the State Executive Council, on Saturday, received the jab of the COVID-19 vaccine, Oxford-Astrazeneca, in Bauchi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that, other people who were vaccinated included, the state deputy governor, Mr Baba Tela, the state Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Aliyu Jibo, the Chief of Staff to the governor, Ladan Salihu, and Mohammed Maigoro,
Others were the Commissioner for Health, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary HealthCare Development Agency (BASPHCDA), among others.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, shortly after he was vaccinated and in possession of his vaccine certificate, Gov. Bala Mohammed, said that his decision to agree to be vaccinated was to show the world that it was safe.
Mohammed, who appreciated the presence of a large number of religious leaders at the ceremony, said it was a sign that they were not influenced by the fear created by rumours attached to the safety of the vaccines.
He urged the traditional and religious leaders to go out and sensitise the people that there was no harm in the vaccines.
He urged the federal government to make sure that the vaccines covered all Nigerians, saying that 80,570 doses of vaccines were not enough for the state’s eight million population.
“I’m urging us, especially, the federal government that this vaccination and purchase of vaccines is given the desired attention it requires and it should be done timely,” he said.
The governor also advised that even after vaccination, people should still adhere to COVID-19 protocols of wearing face mask and using hand sanitizer. as advised by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“Continue to exercise the protocol, I want to advise that vaccination is not an assurance that we will not contract COVID-19, but it is something to give us assurances,” Mohammed said.
Also speaking, the deputy governor, Baba Tela, who said that the exercise would be carried out within the next 10 days, explained that the 80,570 doses of vaccines received as the first batch, would be deployed to all the 20 local government areas in the state.
Tela, who is also the Chairman, State Task Force on COVID-19, promised that the state government would ensure that the exercise was made readily accessible by the people, starting with the state health workers who would be first to be vaccinated after the flag-off ceremony.
“We have put in place the modalities whereby we transport the vaccines to all the twenty LGAs, to all the 323 Primary Health Centres in the wards and also to the 18 general hospitals, chosen by the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency as administration centres.
“We are going to make it as easy as possible for people to come and get vaccinated.
“As the protocol says, after the flagging off ceremony, we will start with the Health workers and in Bauchi, we have about 43,000 registered health workers who have come up to register for the programme.
“After that, we will continue to administer it to people, until we exhaust the first set of the vaccines,” he said.