Ogun state governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, flagged off COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Campaign, with the plan to vaccinate two million people across the state, saying all unvaccinated residents’ risk being barred from government offices, schools, markets and public transport.
According to him, full vaccination will be required for anybody who wants to do business with the government and for entry into government offices and schools, after the expiration of a given time window.
Gov. Abiodun handed down this ultimatum during the flag-off of the mass vaccination against COVID-19 at the Arcade Ground of the State Secretariat, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
The campaign is being conducted by the Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board (OGPHECADEB) in partnership with National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Abiodun said the state target is to vaccinate more than 2m people from the age of 18 and above against the pandemic, adding that a 60-day window would allow unvaccinated residents to take their jabs as part of moves to flatten the curve of the virus.
He said: “We are going to give a window to allow for this vaccination exercise and that window starts from today till the next 60 days.
“Anybody after 60 days that is not vaccinated will not be allowed in our offices, schools. Such people will not be allowed to do business with us. We will chase this person in our markets, you will be required to carry your vaccine cards with you at all times.
“If you don’t have a card like this, you will not come to our secretariat, we will not do business with you, we will not allow ‘Okada’ to carry you, we will not allow the taxi to carry you, you will not be allowed in our Market. We will enforce this card. To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” he said.
Abiodun disclosed that the state had increased vaccine centres from 131 to 509 to allow eligible residents to have access to the vaccination.
According to him, the vaccination exercise would take place between November 1 and December 25th this year.
He recalled that the index case of the pandemic was discovered in the state, saying his administration’s swift response mechanism helped in combating the disease within Ogun despite its proximity to Lagos, which is the epicenter of COVID-19.
“Indeed, within weeks, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) commended our administration for efforts at curbing the spread of Corona Virus. Both organizations were delightfully impressed and expressed their satisfaction with the quality of facilities on ground, the human capital and the willingness of our administration to go an extra mile at ensuring that Ogun State did not become a safe haven for the COVID-19 pandemic”, the governor added.
The governor further declared that his administration would take the mass vaccination as part of the health measures and protocols in place at this period of pandemic.
“We cannot afford to lose our guards. We will ensure that the vaccination processes are adequately administered in our healthcare facilities across all parts of our dear state. I enjoin our people to embrace this mass vaccination towards ensuring their safety and wellbeing against COVID-19.
“And, to demonstrate our seriousness to this vaccination exercise, we will give a time window to allow our people to get vaccinated. After that, evidence of full vaccination will be required for anybody who wants to do business with the government and for entry into government offices and schools”. Abiodun stated.
He noted that a total of 298,785 people in the state have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 148,200 people have had their second dose.
“We are not unaware of misinformation making the rounds against the effectiveness and efficiency of the vaccines and vaccination against COVID. I must say that these rumours and propaganda are nothing but fallacies. Those who are peddling misinformation are not doing the people, nations, and the entire humanity any good. In fact, we have all seen how the vaccine and vaccination have helped in the general fight against COVID, and recovery of the economies around the world”, he said.
In her address, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker said the campaign was of part of efforts to stem the tide of the spread of the virus especially during festive periods “The Mass Vaccination Campaign is part of efforts to rapidly ramp up coverage of fully vaccinated residents and fast track the return of the State’s economy to pre-Covid 19 level, therefore, we need to intensify vaccination across all Local Government Areas in the State.” Coker said
In his remark, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib who commended the State on the utilization of vaccines, saying that the campaign was imperative to avoid the next wave of the pandemic, expressing confidence in the leadership of the State and the support of the people to achieve targets
In their goodwill messages, representative, World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Dele David, General Manager, National Solidarity Support Fund, Dr. Fejiro Chinenye and Iya Loja of the State, Chief Kemi Oloyede commended the Government for the initiative with a promise to continue to support all efforts to keep the people of Ogun healthy and safe.