Finally, Yahaya Bello takes delivery of COVID-19 vaccines
Governor Yahaya Bello has finally agreed to let Kogi residents take the COVID-19 jab after repeated pushbacks.
On Monday night, the Kogi government took delivery of 16,900 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Vaccination begins in the state on Tuesday.
Mr Bello had in January warned Nigerians against taking the COVID-19 vaccines, despite having no background as a scientist and lacking any knowledge about vaccine engineering.
“They want to use the vaccine to introduce a disease that will kill you and us, God forbid,” Mr Bello said without evidence.
He also expressed doubts about the speed with which scientists came up with the COVID-19 vaccine when other deadly diseases have been around for decades without a cure.
“Vaccines are being produced in less than one year of COVID-19. No vaccines for HIV, Malaria for cancer for headache and for several other diseases that are killing us,” the governor added.
Mr Bello also invoked an incident from the 1990s in which American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer faced federal charges for allegedly deploying an untested polio vaccine in Kano.
“We should draw our mind back to what happened in Kano, Pfizer vaccine, a polio vaccine that crippled and killed our children, we have learnt our lessons,” he pointed out.
Despite Kogi governor’s ignorant outbursts and grandstanding, his appointed health officials have taken the COVID-19 jab.
Abubakar Yakubu, Executive Director of Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA), led a team of officials from the agency and the Kogi Ministry of Health to receive the vaccines at the Central Medical Store, Lokoja.
Mr Yakubu told journalists that the most-awaited COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the state from Abuja at 7:40 p.m.
“The first line of recipients of the vaccines are the health workers… The vaccine administration will be followed by the first line workers like the police, military, NSCDC, Customs officials, among others,” he said.
Mr Yakubu added that Kogi initially expected 45,000 doses of the vaccine from the NPHCDA, which accounted for one per cent of the state’s total population.
“However, to our surprise, we are being supplied with 16,900 doses now. I think there will be further reconciliation to send the balance of the doses as soon as possible,” he said.
Recently, Ofcom, British broadcasting regulator, imposed a £125,000 on Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s Loveworld Limited after a programme broadcast on its religious service Loveworld Television Network featured inaccurate and potentially harmful claims about the Coronavirus without providing adequate protection for viewers.
“This was the second time in a year that the broadcaster breached our rules on accuracy in news and harm in its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic,” the regulator said in a statement.
Ofcom considered “the breaches to be serious, repeated and reckless, warranting the imposition of a statutory sanction beyond the direction to broadcast a statement.”
Ofcom’s investigation found that the 29-hour programme, Global Day of Prayer, included statements claiming that the pandemic is a “planned” event created by the “deep state” for nefarious purposes and that the vaccine is a “sinister” means of administering “nanochips” to control and harm people.
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