From: Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor,Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has flagged -off the commencement of COVID-19 second dose vaccination campaign in the state.
Flagging off the exercise at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Bauchi Saturday evening, Governor Bala Mohammed thanked development partners, health workers, religious and traditional leaders for their synergy and collaboration in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
According to him, “We are very pleased to be here to take our second dose of COVID-19 vaccine and based on statistics, we are doing well in Bauchi state and therefore we must thank stakeholders for their support in achieving this.”
“I must say and appreciate on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari that in Bauchi, any time the President present himself for something and myself anytime I present something too people of Bauchi gave us support and respect us and with that we are very appreciative.”
The governor used the medium to appeal to the federal government to support the state government to ensure the availability of the vaccines to ensure total coverage of the citizens.
In a key note adrress, representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr Ahmed Khedr said the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine has significantly contributed to mitigating the impact of the outbreak of the virus in Bauchi state by reducing morbidity and mortality rates.
He said the vaccine will therefore protect high-risk populations and other persons in alignment with existing COVID-19 response plans including the state COVID-19 pandemic response plan and the National Integrated Health Sector Response Plan.
According to him, the COVID-19 vaccine is a key strategy in the achievement of herd immunity towards COVID-19 infection among populace and therefore said it is important to get the second dose of the vaccine even if the first had a minimum side effects.
“Bauchi state achieved a milestone by reaching up to 84% of its eligible population for the 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Success in the role out of the 2st dose was achieved through the support from the National and the state government.
“The political will and commitment to His Excellency, the Governor of Bauchi state, in terms of public demonstration of first to receive the vaccine, public pronouncements, and financial support are commendable.”
The World Health Organisation official recommended a robust strategy to reinforce confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines, dialogues, strategies to address hesitancy and recognises the key role healthcare professionals play in improving vaccine acceptance being in contact with patients regularly.
“The vaccines are not a perfect fix for COVID-19 infection. We will still need to practice other precautions (non-pharmaceutical measures) like wearing of face masks, observing social distancing, handwashing until public health officials say otherwise.”
On his part, the Executive Chairman of Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed applauded Governor Bala Mohammed for supporting COVID-19 taskforce to discharge its assigned responsibilities of tackling COVID-19 infection in the state.
Dr Rilwanu Mohammed said so far forty seven thousand, two hundred and ninety people in Bauchi state have been vaccinated against COVID-19 pandemic in the first dose of the exercise. END