Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, his deputy, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi and some frontline health workers on Wednesday received the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as the Governor flagged off the vaccination exercise in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
Governor Fayemi received a dose of the vaccine at 11:55am, administered by the State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani.
The Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Funminiyi Afuye and a representative of the State Council of Traditional Rulers/ Attah of Aiyede-Ekiti, HRM Oba Abdulmumin Orisagbemi and some members of the public also received the vaccine at a brief ceremony, at the Fajuyi Pavillion, Ado-Ekiti.
The Permanent Secretary Hospital Management Board and Covid 19 Case Management Lead, Dr Williams Afolabi became the first Health Worker in Ekiti State to receive the vaccine.
Governor Fayemi at the short ceremony, stated that his administration had put in place measures to ensure that residents have equitable access to the vaccine. He emphasised that all hands must be on deck to ensure all indigenes know that the vaccine is safe.
The Governor said Ekiti State was one of the very few states to strengthen the testing capacity by procuring a Molecular Laboratory in addition to mobilizing eminent citizens under the Rapid Response Mobilization Committee (RRMC) which raised about $3Million used to fund some critical infrastructure and social needs to support the fight against the pandemic.
He urged the citizens to disregard any unfounded theories about the efficacy and effects of the vaccines on them saying “we should not introduce unnecessary sentiments to the health and well-being of our people for whatever reasons.
“The availability of Covid-19 vaccines and its global distribution is a development that should gladden the hearts of all of us. The vaccines have been stress tested, with clinical trials conducted to guarantee its safety for humans. Our own NAFDAC has also subjected the vaccines to multiple tests and analysis and affirmed that they are not injurious in any form to the people. This explains why the vaccines have been made available to Nigerians to fight this killer disease.”, the Governor said.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Banji Filani, disclosed that Risk Communications officials are currently being trained to tackle misinformation across the 16 LGAs of the state ahead of the rollout of the vaccines in Ekiti.
“Dr. Williams Mobolaji Afolabi, COVID-19 Case Management Pillar Lead / Permanent Secretary, Hospital Management Board became the first health worker in Ekiti State to receive the vaccine right after the principal officers. The vaccination campaign is designed in phases to ensure equitable access to the vaccine across the entire state, while prioritising our frontline health workers”, said Filani.
Ekiti continues to lead as a model sub-national government with integrated and holistic responses to tackle COVID-19 and cushion its economic impact on the people.
It is recalled that the Fayemi administration had earlier in January 2021, procured 187 Solar Direct Drive Cold Chain Equipment to facilitate uninterrupted availability and distribution of vaccines (including #COVID19 vaccine) in their optimal storage temperature and quality in Ekiti State.
The Federal Government has last week announced the arrival of about four million doses of the Oxford-AstrZenca Covid-19 vaccines out of the overall 16 million doses to be delivered to the country in batches over the next few months.