Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board ( OGSMPWB) has commenced Vaccination exercise for intending pilgrims in readiness for 2021 Hajj.
The 2-day event which commenced Saturday at the Board’s Secretariat Complex, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta has been designed to ease covid-19 vaccination and prevent delay that may later arise with late vaccination.
The Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Salau Dauda in his opening address stated that, the vaccination against covid-19 is a prerequisite for Hajj this year in accordance with the directive of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria(NAHCON), and may remain so for a long time.
Salau added that the State government has done its own part and it is therefore on the part of intending pilgrims to follow suit by making themselves available for Astrazeneca vaccination.
“The exercise is a 2-day event and I am impressed with the large turn out of participants. However, let me establish that the entire exercise is free and no one can claim otherwise. After receiving the first dose of Astra zeneca vaccine, vaccinees are expected to get another dose after a few weeks” he said.
Commissioner, South West zone, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) Alhaja Basirat Akintunde in her remark re emphasized the importance of the Vaccine and that more than half of the states in the country have carried out the exercise.
Akintunde also cleared the air on the rumoured hidden charges some say may likely follow vaccination , saying the exercise is free and safe for all concerned.
” The Vaccine is free and the government does not have any agenda to attach a fee to this exercise” she buttressed.
On the activities of the Board, Akintunde said she has never been disappointed even when compared with other states.
“OGSMPWB is really up to the task. I am aware they only got approval two days ago, and within that short period, have been able to organise this”.
State Immunization Officer, Ogun State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Olayinka Surajudeen reinforced the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, saying it has gone through a lot of laboratory tests to ascertain this, dousing the fears of participants and the general public of any serious side effect.
“There is no need for worries as Astra zeneca has been found to be safe and effective by relevant health authorities”, He buttressed.
In their separate remarks, Idowu Bashir and Salau Mutajero from Yewa and Sagamu Local Government respectively expressed their satisfaction at the health initiative as it would help safeguard them against covid-19, adding that the Vaccine has no side effect on them and would therefore encourage others to follow suit.