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Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, received a COVID-19 booster shot to further protect against COVID-19.
The governor, while flagging off the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign in the state, held at the Aleshinloye Market, called on the people of the state to take advantage of the free service to get vaccinated.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor maintained that the flag-off was another logical step taken by the state to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
He added that the step was based on data and the scientific position that vaccines are safe in protecting people against the worst effects of the virus.
The governor appreciated the frontline workers, who, according to him, have been working tirelessly for nearly two years, to curtail the virus in the state, noting that the government will continue to support them with the resources needed to get the job done.
He said: “I want to specially recognise our development partners, because you have given us the vaccines for free and we are also giving it to our people free of charge.
“Well, we are here to flag off the mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Oyo State. It is close to two years now when the first case was reported in Nigeria and it subsequently hit us in the state. The majority of the people think it would vanish in three or four months but it is now close to two years that we have been battling with it.
“From the beginning of the pandemic, we have known that this will be with us for a very long time. I heard the Speaker saying that maybe by this time next year, we would be celebrating a COVID-19-free environment; well, there is nothing God cannot do. But you see, science, logic, and data are still saying that this virus is going to be with us for some time.
“The first flu, the Spanish flu that first occurred in 1916 is still around till now and it is still with us. We only have slight symptoms like sneezing, cold and so on but that flu is a very serious disease in other places. The prayer we should continue to say is that this infection will not claim our lives.
“This flag-off is just another logical step that we are taking to contain COVID-19 in Oyo State, which is still based on data and science that vaccines are safe in protecting us against the worst effects of the virus. Even the worldwide data supports our position.”
The governor urged people of the state to get vaccinated and thereby give themselves and their loved ones another layer of protection against COVID-19.
He added : “Today, I call on the good people of Oyo State to take advantage of this free service to get vaccinated and give themselves and their loved ones an added layer of protection against the virus.
“I want to use this opportunity to appreciate the frontline workers, who have been working tirelessly for nearly two years, to contain the virus in the state. Your thankless work has not gone unnoticed. On our part, we will continue to support you with the resources you need to get the job done.”
He also called on residents who have been fully vaccinated to receive the booster shot and always observe COVID-19 safety precautions.
“I am sure most of us must have read in the news that more than one million doses of the vaccine had to be destroyed in Nigeria because we could not push them out. Well, this is another opportunity to ensure that we mobilise our people and get as many of them vaccinated. We need to reach out to everybody and that is why we have come to an open place like this to seek your support,” Governor Makinde added.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bode Ladipo, said the event was meant to officially launch the mass vaccination campaign for COVID-19 across the 33 local governments in order to stem the tide of the virus in Oyo state.
He explained that the state has been able to vaccinate over 722,000 persons, adding that the state has tested about 75,000 people, out of which 9,300 of them tested positive.
Ladipo equally hinted that there had been an increment in the number of those who tested positive and that the vaccination is free and it is meant for everybody above 18 years.
He said: “We have been able to vaccinate over 722,000 people across the state, with just over 200,000 that are fully vaccinated in Oyo state. As we are speaking this morning, we have about 120 people that have been vaccinated with the booster dose.
“Your Excellency, with your leadership since the 21st of March when the task force was put together for the COVID-19, we followed your principle of looking at data, examining science, and basing our discretion on logic and decisions going forward and from there, Oyo State has been able to test about 75,000 people and 9,300 of them were positive.
“In the last two months or so, we had an increment and that increment is expected based on the festivities and the movement of people across borders and boundaries. Within the last seven days, unfortunately, we have recorded 417 people that have tested positive, and most, unfortunately, two days back we recorded 122.
“So, Your Excellency, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, what we are doing today is actually part of the effort to stem the tide of COVID-19 in Oyo state. Vaccination is free and it is meant for everybody, it is meant for people that are over the age of 18 years and I can assure you that we have put together a lot of infrastructure that should ensure that the vaccines are delivered at the right time.”