By Jethro Ibileke/Benin
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, and his wife, Betsy, on Monday, received their first jabs of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, at the launching ceremony of the vaccination.
Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and his wife, Maryann, were also vaccinated against the dreaded infection.
The governor, after receiving the jab during the Covid-19 vaccination inauguration ceremony, assured the citizens that the vaccine is safe.
He also recalled how controversy trailed the polio vaccine many years ago.
“Yes, it may not be 100 per cent full-proof, yes, there may be some issues because, however, on the balance of risk, this vaccine is safe.
“We understand the politics of vaccination, particularly as it relates to this. When the polio vaccine was introduced several years ago, the same such fears were expressed.
“The same such of uncertainty was expressed, but however the world went ahead with vaccinating against polio, it may not have been hundred per cent, but today we’ve been able to pick out polio from our society. So, there is nothing new with this vaccine and the politics of the vaccine.
“I decided this morning against all pressure to make myself available to take the vaccine, and I have done so. It’s a seamless exercise and I will be surprised if there would be any side effect.
“So, am encouraging all of us in Edo to listen to the fears being expressed, but however go ahead and take your vaccination, particularly, our health care workers who are daily exposed to Covid-19 patients.
“I encourage our elderly and those with underlying medical conditions to please go ahead and get vaccinated.
“We have doses for 40 thousand people to be vaccinated. I’m very proud of the Covid-19 team in Edo, that has helped us respond to the outbreak,” he said,” he said.
Governor Obaseki commended President Muhammadu Buhari and all members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, for their initiatives that led to giving the vaccines for free.
In her remarks, the state coordinator of the World Health Organization (WHO) Mrs Faith Ireye, said that the Covid-19 vaccination inauguration first phase is targeted at health care workers and other frontline workers.
Ireye noted that WHO has endorsed the vaccine as safe and effective for emergency use, saying that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has also given its approval for the use of the vaccines.
Other dignitaries who were vaccinated included Senator representing Edo South, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide, Sen. Clifford Ordia, representing Edo Central, former Sen. Ehigie Uzamere, Secretary to Edo State, Mr Osarodion Ogie, Chief Judge of the state, Chief Justice Esther Edigin and Speaker Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) Hon. Marcus Onobun, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Philip Agbadu, among others.
Leaders of the various religious organizations, including the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Benin, Rev. Augustine Akubeze, former National President of Pentecostal Fellowship (PFN) Rev. Felix Omobude, Chief Imam of Benin, Alhaji Abdufatah Enabulele, also took part in the vaccination.