Oyo State government has said that it delayed the rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the state due to the reports emanating from different countries about the vaccine.
The government said this in reaction to a question from a Twitter user, @idowudotun, who wondered why the state was yet to commence vaccination even after many of its citizens have completed the registration to make them eligible for the state’s vaccination exercise.
Recall that some countries in the European Union had suspended the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to reports of blood clot symptoms experienced by some people after taking a jab of the brand.
However, the World Health Organisation assured of the safety of the brand of vaccine, adding that it was far riskier to not get the shot.
Authorities in Nigeria also assured of the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine which it received via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.
Despite assurance given on the vaccine, the Oyo State government said it still had to delay the rollout, adding that it had to also stock up on medication to treat the side effects reportedly associated with the vaccine.
In response to @idowudotun, the government said, “Hello, due to the reports about the vaccine from different countries, the Oyo State Government decided to delay the vaccination and test samples of the vaccine while also stocking up on medication to treat the reported side effects. The vaccination will commence today.”
The state Governor, Seyi Makinde, who flagged off the vaccination exercise today promised that the state will catch up with its counterparts in the vaccination exercise.
He said, “When I was reading the newspaper this morning, I saw that they said Oyo State has not given a single shot of the vaccine. So, they recorded zero for Oyo State.”
The Governor who was the first to get vaccinated today said, “Now, at least we have one.”
He continued, “And for the states that have taken in their thousands, we always say that no be the man wey first call police na him dey win case (pidgin).
“They can be ahead, but we’ll surely overtake them very soon.”
Giving reasons for the delay in the rollout, Makinde said, “I wanted to validate that the vaccine that we’ll give to the people of Oyo State have been correctly handled.
“We tapped our labs here and they all came with the same result that the vaccine is good and proper for the consumption of the people of Oyo State.
“It didn’t take me 24 hours after that to accept and to agree to come for this exercise.”