By Olawale Ibrahim , Lokoja
Kogi State has kicked off COVID-19 vaccination one day after receiving 16,900 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Nigeria administered the first dose of the vaccine on March 5.
Kogi is the last state in the country to receive the vaccine, owing to the stance of the state government on the infection.
Governor Yahaya Bello had repeatedly said there was no COVID-19 in his state.
But on Wednesday, Saka Audu, the state commissioner for health, flagged off the vaccination exercise in Lokoja, the state capital.
Abubakar Yakubu, executive director of Kogi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), was the first person to be vaccinated, followed by Usman Zakari, Chief medical Director, Kogi state Hospital Management Board, and other frontline health workers.
The commissioner urged residents of the state to take the vaccine, adding that nobody will be deprived of it or forced to receive it.
He said the stance of the governor on the vaccine and COVID-19 will not deprive the people of the vaccine intervention.
“I want to clarify that nobody is exempted or will be deprived from this exercise; also nobody will be forced to take it.
“At the same time, the governor wanted to avoid exposing his people to a new intervention that may be potentially harmful to the people,’ he said.’
According to the latest situation update, 964,387 persons have been vaccinated in 35 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).