A file photo showing a Nigerian taking the COVID-19 jab.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday flagged off his state’s second dose vaccination exercise against coronavirus disease, urging those who took the first dose to make themselves available for the booster dose meant to provide full protection against the virus.
Governor Obaseki flagged off the exercise at the State Secretariat Complex, along Sapele Road, Benin City.
“It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of our campaign to rid our state of the dreaded coronavirus. The virus has changed the way we live and interact with one another globally,” he said.
“It is heartwarming today that we continue with our gradual return to our normal lives with the commencement of the second dose coronavirus vaccination. With this, we hope for brighter days ahead as we collectively fight to defeat the virus.
“The second dose vaccination exercise commences today, June 1, and will last for 40 days, during which period we intend to get the vaccines to our people, including frontline workers who are 18 years and above across the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.”
Obaseki said the second dose is a booster dose which will provide full protection against the coronavirus disease, adding: “The flag off is important to create awareness in the state and boost public confidence in the safety and efficiency of the vaccines.”
“I took the first dose. Despite all the fears expressed, nothing happened. I am here today to flag off the second dose vaccination. Unfortunately, I can’t take my second dose today because the time scheduled for me is not due. I will be due for the second dose on the 12th of June. However, some people have earlier dates. That is why the programme is launched today. I will take my second dose on the 12th of June and you will be invited to know the importance of the vaccination.”
Noting that the vaccines will be rolled out in phases, the governor said the first phase is being administered to frontline workers, strategic leaders and the elderly.
He explained that the second and third phases will follow and the rest of the eligible population will take turns to be vaccinated, adding that the goal of his administration is to vaccinate about 70 percent of the population.
Obaseki added, “For those who have not been vaccinated, it is important to take the vaccine because, by the end of June, it might be almost impossible to travel around the world without a vaccination certificate.
“Government alone can’t fix this pandemic. We must all play our part by adhering to COVID 19 protocol to enable us to protect our loved ones, even after taking the second dose of the vaccines.”
Governor Obaseki seized the opportunity to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and role played in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that different stakeholders, particularly development partners, worked in synergy with the Edo State Government in ridding the state of the virus.
He stated further, “We have vaccinated 38,500 people in the first phase of the first dose vaccination exercise. We are expecting that 38,500 people will come forward for their second dose. It is only then that you will have full immunization.”