BY: ADÉMÓLÁ ÒRÚNBON
ABEOKUTA – As part of efforts to ensure that the State meets its 40 percent target during the Mass Vaccination Campaign before the end of year, the Ogun State Government has enjoined students in tertiary institutions who are 18 years and above to embrace the uptake of COVID-19 vaccine.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker said this recently during the flag-off of COVID-19 Vaccination in Tertiary Institutions in Ogun State at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Ojere, Abeokuta and Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, saying, students are important stakeholders in the success of the campaign.
“You are all important stakeholders in this campaign as you will be protecting yourselves, friends and families, especially your aged parents who are most vulnerable, because a lot of Nigerians have underlying health issues. I urge you in your proactiveness to embrace this intervention, which we have brought to you”, she said.
Coker, in a statement signed by PHCDB’s Press Officers, Mrs. Adesola Ogunbanwo and Mrs. Yemisi Fashola, explained that the mass vaccination campaign became necessary in order to prevent the fourth wave of the pandemic, said the emergence of the virus had affected the general wellbeing of the world population, emphasising that there is a need to protect themselves, as well as their education and other areas of life activities.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Tayo Lawal described students as the leaders of the future, hence the need for them to stay alive and healthy, noting that they occupy a unique position in achieving the target and admonished them to be ambassadors of the campaign by telling their friends and loved ones to get vaccinated.
In his contribution, the Executive Secretary, Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr Elijah Ogunsola, noted that the present administration is concerned about the wellbeing of students, especially as the pandemic had made a huge impact on their education, stressing that they want to vaccinate everyone without discrimination.
He added that adequate consideration had been made to ensure uninterrupted teaching and learning during the exercise, as the vaccine would be incorporated into the existing health system in tertiary institutions across the State, adding that health workers had been trained to vaccinate students in their school’s health facilities to have a seamless coverage.
In a goodwill message, representative of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Gloria Archibong, noted that vaccination is one of the proven measures of individual protection from the virus and interrupting its spread, assuring that the vaccine is safe and effective.
In their respective welcome address, the Acting Rector, MAPOLY, Dr. Adeoye Odedeyi and Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Arch. (Dr.) Olusegun Aluko said the Vaccination Campaign in the schools were rare opportunities and a strategic move aimed at ensuring that normalcy returned to the education sector, promising to collaborate with the government, in order achieve its target.
In their separate remarks, the President, Students Union Government, Comrade Babatunde Adeola and President, Electrical Electronic Students Association, Ilaro Polytechnic, Comrade Adebayo Adeogun, commended the Prince Dapo led administration on the initiative, promising to collaborate with the government in its fight to curb the spread of the virus.