16 out of the 36 states of the federation yesterday received a total of 1,871,050 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government.
LEADERSHIP findings showed that the states got doses of the vaccine as follows: Benue State 78,108, Borno State 75,510, Ekiti State 52,000, Jigawa State 68,000, Nasarawa State 61,000, Niger State 74,110, Ondo State 73, 570 and Cross River State 50,840.
Others are Osun State 64,240 doses, Plateau 105,600, Ebonyi State, 42,090; Ogun 100,000; Adamawa 59,280 while other states that received the vaccine could not disclose the number of doses. Lagos State, which is the epicenter of the infection, got the lion’s share of 507,000 doses, with Kano and Kaduna States trailing behind with 200,000 and 180,000 doses respectively.
Meanwhile, in Benue State, the commissioner for Information and Culture, Ngunan Adingi, said the state has taken delivery of 50,000 doses of the vaccine. Adingi disclosed this in Màkurdi while briefing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House.
Also, no fewer than 50,840 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Calabar, the Cross River State capital, to assist health workers to tackle the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The vaccine arrived at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport aboard a CACOVID private jet and was received by the chairman of Cross River State COVID-19 task force/response team, who doubles as Commissioner for Health, alongside Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Eteng Williams.
In Ogun State, the government took delivery of 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated to the state by the federal government. The consignment, which was neatly packaged and stored in mini-refrigerators, was received in two batches of 50,000 each between Monday night and Tuesday by the state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, shortly after the arrival of the state team led by the commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker.
Meanwhile, Lagos State governor, Babajide SanwoOlu, has revealed that the state government will start rolling out the 507,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in its possession at the weekend.
Sanwo-Olu said a steering committee set up for the vaccine administration was in its final stage of preparation for the deployment of the vaccine, confirming that the state had a clear-cut strategy for the vaccine distribution.
For its part, the Borno State government received a total of 75,510 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government. Receiving the vaccine, which arrived in Maiduguri International Airport at exactly 9pm on Monday, the state deputy governor, Alhaji Usman Kadafur, said the state will begin the administration of the vaccine to residents as of yesterday Wednesday.
Ekiti State also took delivery of 100,000 doses of its share of the vaccines from the federal government. The state Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Oyebanji Filani, received the vaccine at the Akure Airport in Ondo State on behalf of the government on Tuesday.
In Ebonyi State, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Umezurike, said that the team from the state Ministry of Health was currently in Enugu to take delivery of 42,090 doses of the vaccine allotted to the state. He said the ministry, after taking delivery of the vaccine, would commence the vaccination immediately.
Also, Niger State Commissioner for Health and Hospital Services, Dr Muhammad Makusidi, said that the state received 74,110 doses of the vaccine. Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello, flagged off the vaccination in the state by taking the first jab followed by his deputy, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso and other state executive council members. The vaccine was administered on Sani-Bello by his personal physician, Dr Shehu Ahmed, at the Government House, Minna.
In Bauchi, the state government said it has so far received 80,570 out of the 150,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine allotted to it by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). The state deputy governor, Senator Baba Tela, who disclosed this, while receiving the vaccine at the cold store of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), hinted that the first beneficiaries of the vaccine will be frontline health workers, government officials, security personnel, traditional and religious leaders.
For his part, Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, said the state government has received 180,000 doses of the vaccine from the federal government. The governor who announced this at the Government House during the presentation of 2020 security report publicly took the vaccine yesterday to encourage residents.
The Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nenkor Lar, said the state also received its own doses of the vaccine on Tuesday. According to him, the doses of the vaccine received were 105,600, which is exactly the number allocated to the state by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
Also, as of press time yesterday, the Abia State commissioner for health, Dr Jeo Osuji, told LEADERSHIP that delivery of the vaccine was being awaited up till 10pm the previous day after the PTF had put the ministry on alert for it.
Meanwhile, the Osun State government took delivery of a total of 64,240 doses of the vaccine allocated to it by the federal government. According to the commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, the vaccine was received at the Akure Airport around 7:11pm on Tuesday by the state medical team led by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu. Egbemode said the state government was prepared to preserve and administer the vaccine, having trained about 300 health workers for the vaccination exercise and installed storage facilities (cold chain) across the 332 wards in the State.
The Nasarawa State government took delivery of the vaccine at about 2am on Tuesday in Lafia, the state capital. The vaccine was delivered by road from Abuja to the state while the doses received, according to the state deputy governor, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, were 61,000.
For his part, Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, will tomorrow launch the COVID-19 vaccination exercise to kick start phase 1 of the vaccine rollout for the state. The chairman, Delta State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (DSPHCDA), Dr Isioma Okobah, stated this while addressing some officers of the military and paramilitary services in Asaba yesterday.
In Jigawa State, Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar and his deputy, Malam Umar Namadi, yesterday, were given the vaccine 24 hours after the first consignment was delivered to the state.
Speaking shortly after taking the vaccine at Government House Clinic in Dutse, Governor Badaru stated that he and his deputy as well as members of the state executive council had taken the vaccine.
Also, the Kwara State government on Tuesday night received its own consignment of the COVID-19 Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from the federal government. The consignment arrived in the Ilorin International Airport at about 8.30pm and was received by the state government’s delegation led by the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, Dr. Abubakar Ayinla.
The executive secretary, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Nusirat Elelu, said the state was excited to witness the delivery of the vaccine to support its fight against coronavirus.
Also, the Imo State government, yesterday, confirmed it received the vaccine but could not disclose the number of the doses. The vaccine arrived via the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri yesterday at about 6pm.
In Ondo State, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and his deputy, Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa, yesterday got their jabs of the vaccine in Akure, the state capital. Others who were administered with the vaccine are the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo and the Osemawe of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo, as well as some top government functionaries. Speaking after receiving the vaccine, Akeredolu hinted that the cold chain for the storage of the vaccine remained actively functional in Ondo State.
NSCIA Affirms Safety Of Vaccine
Meanwhile, The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) said it has affirmed that the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine being used in the country was safe for Muslims. The apex Islamic body said it authenticated the efficacy of the vaccine in consultations with its partners in the medical science before the arrival of the vaccine in the country.
NSCIA’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Selemi, who made the pronouncement in a chat with LEADERSHIP, said the Council in conjunction with the NPHCDA and UNICEF organised a sensitisation programme for Muslim scholars and Imams on the efficacy of the vaccine on January 26, 2021. He said another sensitisation programme will be organise before the end of this month to reinforce and reaffirm the safety of the vaccine for Muslim faiths.
We Won’t Force Anyone To Take It – CAN
But the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said it won’t compel its members to take the COVID-19 vaccine. CAN, in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP yesterday in Abuja, said Nigerians were already well sensitised on coronavirus.
General Secretary of CAN, Joseph Bade Daramola, told our correspondent that the association will not compel its members to take the vaccine or persuade anybody not to take it. “Taking COVID-19 vaccine is a matter of choice. It is in the media. People are already taking the vaccine. People are the masters of their faith. So the decision is yours to take the vaccine or not. But we know that the vaccine can avert contracting the vaccine in line with the recommendation of the World Health Organisation,” he noted.