After disparaging the existence of Covid-19 and the vaccination that was developed to take the pandemic, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State on Monday finally agreed to start administering the vaccine to the residents of the state.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) gave the hint after meeting with Gov. Bello in Kogi on Monday.
Kogi is the only state yet to start administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to residents three weeks after Nigeria began its rollout.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency had attributed the delay to two factors – the state’s “concerns around the contradictory information about the vaccines” and the non-repair of its cold-chain store.
When the vaccine doses arrived in Nigeria, Bello who had repeatedly denied the existence of COVID-19 in Kogi, said the vaccination is among their least concerns.
“COVID-19 is just a minute aspect of what we’re treating in Kogi state. I’m not going to subject the people of Kogi state to vaccination, or I will not make them guinea pigs.” he had said.
Speaking with TheCable on Monday, Haruna said “everything” is set for the state to start the vaccination rollout.
“We have done the microplanning and everything has been completed with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency,” the commissioner said.
“Anybody that is willing to receive the vaccine (will receive it); nobody is exempted. And nobody will be forced to receive the vaccine.”
The official also said the state will announce further plans, including the location of the vaccination launch after receiving the supplies.
He, however, failed to confirm if state government officials particularly the governor will receive the vaccine.
“The governor does not have to receive the vaccine before others will; I don’t think there is anything special about COVID that we have to bring the governor out to come and receive the vaccine,” he said.