By Segun Awofadeji
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed yesterday noted that the allocation of 150 thousand doses of the vaccine to the state by the federal government was not adequate and sufficient.
Mohammed, therefore, pleaded with the federal government to purchase the required doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in order to meet the number of Nigerians.
He appealed to the federal government yesterday after receiving the vaccine at the Government House in Bauchi alongside his wife, Aisha Bala Mohammed and the Deputy Governor, Senator Baba Tela.
Also, the Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Aliyu Jibo; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Ladan Salihu and the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, among others, also received the vaccine yesterday.
After taking the jab, Mohammed described the allocation of 150 thousand doses of the vaccine to Bauchi state as inadequate, and pleaded with the federal government to purchase the required doses of COVID-19 vaccine in order to meet the number of Nigerians.
He said: “I am highly delighted to witness today’s moment which is a climax for the fight against the scourge of COVID-19. You know incidentally I was the index case with my brother the Deputy Governor and some of my close associates and today we are here again after the global body developed a vaccine to tackle the scourge of COVID-19.”
“We came here as leaders to be administered with this vaccine to show that the vaccine is safe and I want to tell our people that they should continue wearing face masks even after receiving the vaccine to ensure total eradication of the virus.”
Mohammed, however, expressed optimism that the vaccine would contribute positively to controlling the scourge of the deadly virus.
Mohammed, who also received a certificate of vaccination, urged citizens of the state to disregard misinformation about the vaccine, saying the Federal and Bauchi State Governments had done their homework to establish the vaccine’s efficacy and safety.
He, however, said that vaccination “is not the end of the pandemic and all citizens must continue to adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as hand hygiene, use of face masks and maintaining physical distance if the pandemic is to be controlled.
“The vaccine is safe because it has been tested. We don’t envisage any side effects. So, nobody should panic. It is for our benefit. I also urge you to dispel any speculation regarding the vaccines as you can see we are the first partakers and if we can take the vaccine, you too should not be afraid.”
The governor expressed satisfaction with the participation of Islamic clerics and pastors in the flag off ceremony, enjoining them to sensitize their followers on the need to embrace the exercise.
Mohammed, while thanking development partners and the international community especially WHO and other stakeholders who donated the vaccine to Nigeria, called for more collaboration and support for controlling communicable diseases in the country.
He also commended the Bauchi State Task Force on COVID-19 headed by the deputy governor for its commitment to assigned responsibilities and urged them not to relent in providing solutions to all the challenges associated with the infection of the virus.
He used the opportunity to acknowledge the partnership between his administration and the Bauchi field office of UNICEF, which resulted in the renovation of a large number of primary healthcare centres across the state aimed at improving healthcare services.
Also after receiving the vaccine, the deputy governor, who is the Chairman of COVID-19 Task Force in the state, said the vaccine would be available in all the twenty local government areas of the state for people to access it.