COVID-19: Delta State Governor reassures Nigerians of vaccine safety

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa has reassured Nigerians of the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine and all other vaccines used in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Okowa was speaking to reporters on Tuesday after a private meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.

Okowa, who chairs the sub-committee of the National Economic Council interfacing with the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, said the vaccines have proven safe, adding that the adverse effect following vaccination has been very minimal.

There’s been no reported death following vaccination, and we have all taken it; our first and second doses and we are well,” Okowa, who is also a medical doctor, said.

Vaccine distribution
According to Governor Okowa, the distribution of the vaccine in Nigeria has worked well with about 3.9million doses, out 4million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine received by Nigeria, given to people.

He said in Delta State about 95,000 doses have been fully administered on people both in the first and the second doses.

Actually, in the country, they have done well but there is no doubt that as we entered into the second doses, as a result of the anti vaccine campaign, the kind of messages they pass out, a lot of people started having some level of hesitancy.

“But of all of the doses we have in state were taken up, and across, the nation, as of the last meeting we had last week Thursday—I chaired the NEC sub-committee interfacing with the Presidential Steering Committee—we didn’t really lose anything.

“One will stat few days for it to expire, we had only nine vials; so that means we are not going to lose anything.

“But we have to up the campaign as we are expecting many more vaccines at the end of July, first week of August, which is going to run into a few more millions; so we just have to keep the campaign going.”

Internal revenue
Governor Okowa said that Delta State was doing a lot to shore up internal revenue by trying to get more people into the tax bracket.

He, however, said that government was also mindful of “the fact that if you look into the general populace, the economy is such that a lot of people are being strangulated.

“And to that extent, you are careful so that you don’t do overtaxing of the entire populace and therefore further dig down on the economy and cause a situation where many families are not able to feed.

“All the same, we try to bring a lot into the tax net; we are trying to be very responsible in our approach to that.”

He said that the state government was doing a lot of things to support many businesses affected by the COVID-19 in 2020.

We are also growing a lot of youth entrepreneurs in the state through various programmes; so those ones can come in into tax bracket,” he added.

We hope that in that in the midst of the two, we still stay very much afloat.

So, we hope that there will be a little growth in our IGR but not as much we expected because of the impact of the COVID-19.”

Governors’ collaboration
Speaking of the meeting of southern governors, Okowa said collaboration among governors across Nigeria was necessary to tackle insecurity.

There is a need for the federal government to also work closely with the governors,” he said.

Okowoa said all the governors have also realized the need to work with the communities, the vigilante groups.

He said the collaborations would help all the states across Nigeria in the fight against insecurity.

 

Nnenna.O

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