The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu on Monday received their first jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The state on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 received the first batch of 81, 080 doses of the vaccine from the Federal Government, to be administered to about 40,000 people for the first and second jab, as each person is expected to take two doses at four to 12 weeks intervals.
Edo First Lady, Mrs. Besty Obaseki and the wife of deputy governor, Mrs. Maryann Shaibu were also inoculated against the virus.
Other dignitaries that were vaccinated include the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq.; Chief Judge of the State, Chief Justice Esther Edigin; Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Hon. Marcus Onobun; Senator representing Edo South, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide; Senator representing Edo Central, Sen. Clifford Ordia and Sen. Ehigie Uzamere.
Others are Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Benin, Rev. Augustine Akubeze; former National President of Pentecostal Fellowship (PFN), Rev. Felix Omobude; Chief Imam of Benin, Alhaji Abdufatah Enabulele and Edo State Police Commissioner, Philip Agbadu, among others.
The governor, after receiving the jab at the Government House in Benin City, as part of activities for the roll out of the vaccine in the state, assured the citizens that the vaccine is safe.
Obaseki noted, “The vaccine is safe; we understand the politics of vaccination particularly as it relates to this. When the polio vaccine was introduced several years ago, the same fears and uncertainty were expressed.
“However, the world went ahead with vaccinating against polio; it may not have been hundred per cent, but today we’ve been able to kick out polio from our society. So, there is nothing new with this vaccine and the politics of the vaccine.”
He continued: “I am encouraging all of us in Edo State not to listen to the fears being expressed, but go ahead and take your vaccination, particularly our health care workers who are daily exposed to COVID-19 patients.
“The elderly and those with underlying medical conditions should please go ahead and get vaccinated; we have doses for 40, 000 people to be vaccinated. I am very proud of the COVID-19 team in Edo that has helped us to respond to the outbreak.”
The governor further commended President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for their efforts in containing the pandemic in the country.
On her part, State Coordinator of the World Health Organization (WHO), Faith Ireye, said WHO has endorsed the vaccine as safe and effective for emergency use.
She urged residents to disregard the rumours and misinformation about the vaccines and utilize the opportunity to get themselves vaccinated.
Onobun, after taking the vaccine, said: “There was a little apprehension before but after taking the vaccine, I feel good and well. I encourage everyone to come out and be vaccinated.”
Also, Sen. Urhoghide: noted: “The doubts about the vaccines are unfounded; it’s a conspiracy about the design of the vaccines. The type that is being taken here suits our people and it’s taken over the world. We are in a dire situation and we should not play politics with it.”
On their part, the Archbishop of Benin and the Chief Imam of Benin charged their followers to ensure they are vaccinated against the virus, noting that the vaccine is safe.