Bauchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, on Saturday took the second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at an event at the Government House to flag off the second round of the vaccination in the state.
The state Deputy Governor, Baba Tella, the governor’s wife, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed, members of the state executive council as well as other top government officials also received the second dose of the vaccine.
Speaking after being vaccinated, Governor Mohammed said he was satisfied with the level of coverage during the first round of vaccination, noting that the level of coverage was fascinating.
The governor said he was impressed with people’s turn out to get the vaccine, coupled with the statistics of coverage.
He, however, expressed displeasure with the lukewarm attitude exhibited by the state’s Christian community to the COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
While saying that he was surprised by the community’s attitude, Governor Mohammed warned that without being vaccinated, they would not be allowed to go on a holy pilgrimage to Israel.
“Though the population of the Christian community is not huge in the state, they are dear to me because they comprised the most votes that brought us to power in 2019.
“I am appealing to them to come over and let us discuss the way forward. I don’t want them to blame me if they are denied a journey to perform religious obligations.
“As the most learned and enlightened group in the state, I am surprised with the turn out of event from the Christian community. We will engage them to know what the problem is,” the governor said.
He then urged the Federal Government to carry state governments along in the procurement of the vaccines, noting that the state governments are more accessible to the people.
Governor Mohammed expressed appreciation to traditional rulers in the state as well as the Council of Ulama for cooperating with the state government in achieving the success of the first phase of the vaccination.
He, however, called on them to come out for the second phase, submitting that, “it is the second phase that will make the vaccine complete and effective.”
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Aliyu Maigoro Mohammed, informed that a total of 47,290 people were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the first phase of vaccination in the state.
The commissioner who gave an update on the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination in the state said the number vaccinated represented 84% of the targeted population of frontline health workers, government officials, traditional and religious leaders.
He said the coverage was very significant as the targeted audience turned out to receive the first dose of the vaccine across the state.
Dr Mohammed, however, lamented there was a poor and discouraging response to the vaccination exercise in the Northern zone of the state, particularly in Katagum Local Government Area.
He said there was the need to sensitise the people of the zone to overcome the challenge from the area.
Speaking on the efficacy of the vaccine, the commissioner submitted that research had shown that after the second dose, each individual would be well fortified against being infected by the Coronavirus.
The commissioner assured that everyone who takes the two doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine should not fear being infected, adding, however, that everyone should continue to observe the established COVID-19 protocols, including regular hand washing, the use of sanitiser, maintaining social distancing, among other measures.