By Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
After weeks of uncertainty and grandstanding, the faceoff between the Kogi State Government and Federal authorities over the management of Covid-19 pandemic and its vaccination seems to be about to come to an end.
Baring any last minute changes, the State will take possession of her consignment of the vaccine on Tuesday and thereafter, begin its use without further delay.
It is however unclear weather the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello and other government functionaries will take the vaccine.
These were reportedly confirmed by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna in an interview with TheCable.
He said residents will be given “unhindered access to receive the vaccine” and that everything is set for it.
“We have done the microplanning and everything has been completed with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA),” 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.
TheNews reports that Kogi is the only State that has not launched administration of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to residents three weeks after Nigeria began its rollout.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) 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 Nigeria, Gov. 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.
In a video that went viral in the social media, Bello had cast aspersion on the process of producing the vaccine, alleginh that it was made to kill.