Why we delayed vaccine rollout — Oyo govt

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THE government has explained why it delayed the rollout of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine weeks after receiving its share of vaccine from the Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

The government said it chose to err on the side of caution due to the reports emanating from different countries about the vaccine.

It also noted that it had to also stock up on medication to treat the side effects reportedly associated with the vaccine.

The government said this in reaction to a question from a Twitter user, @idowudotun, who wondered why the state was yet to commence vaccination even after many of its citizens have completed the registration to make them eligible for the state’s vaccination exercise.

“Hello, due to the reports about the vaccine from different countries, the Oyo State Government decided to delay the vaccination and test samples of the vaccine while also stocking up on medication to treat the reported side effects. The vaccination will commence today.” the government replied to @ idowudotun on its official Twitter handle.

Governor Seyi Makinde, who flagged off the vaccination exercise yesterday, promised that the state will catch up with its counterparts in the vaccination exercise.

He said, “When I was reading the newspaper this morning, I saw that they said Oyo State has not given a single shot of the vaccine. So, they recorded zero for Oyo State.”

The Governor who was the first to get vaccinated today said, “Now, at least we have one.”

He continued, “And for the states that have taken in their thousands, we always say that no be the man wey first call police na him dey win case (pidgin).

“They can be ahead, but we’ll surely overtake them very soon.”

Makide added, “I wanted to validate that the vaccine that we’ll give to the people of Oyo State have been correctly handled.

“We tapped our labs here and they all came with the same result that the vaccine is good and proper for the consumption of the people of Oyo State.

“It didn’t take me 24 hours after that to accept and to agree to come for this exercise.”

Some countries in the European Union had suspended the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to reports of blood clot symptoms experienced by some people after taking a jab of the brand.

But the World Health Organisation has assured people of the safety of the brand of vaccine, adding that it was far riskier to not get the shot.

Authorities in Nigeria have also assured the citizens of the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine which it received via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.