Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has told the Federal Government that the 1,848 doses of COVID-19 vaccine allocated to the state are insufficient.
Faisal Shuaib, executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), had said the country will receive 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at the end of January.
According to the sharing formula released by the agency, Oyo, Kano, Lagos, Katsina, Kaduna and Bauchi will receive more doses for health workers.
Oyo has a record of 3,693 COVID-19 cases, 3,242 recoveries and 45 deaths.
But Makinde, while addressing journalists on Wednesday, said the quota allocated to the state cannot meet the need of its population.
The governor said the state government will engage manufacturers of Astra-Zeneca vaccine, “when finally certified fit for human consumption” to supply Oyo the vaccine.
According to him, the Astra-Zeneca vaccine “has been said to be more suitable for the state because of its storage instructions” compared to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine the federal government is procuring.
“On the issue of vaccines, the Federal Government, from what we read, has allocated 1,800 vaccines for Oyo State. First, in Oyo State, we don’t have a facility to store at minus 70 centigrade. Again, this number is grossly inadequate. If you want to vaccinate 100,000 people out of a population of almost 200 million, it is not going to make any dent,” Makinde said.
“And Oyo State, which is a population of between 7-12million, 1,800 vaccines are not going to go anywhere. So, we are exploring other means of getting these vaccines to our people.
“I have been advised by the experts that the Astra-Zeneca Vaccine is more suitable for Oyo State due to storage instructions. So, we are opening discussions directly with the manufacturer so that we can get as many as possible for our people once it is certified…what I will say to everyone is, you have to own your action. I have to own mine action too.”
Speaking further, Makinde said the state is not experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 “as the curve was never flattened”.
According to him, the state has conducted over 34,000 COVID-19 tests.
“With recent happenings and talks on the second wave of Covid-19, it becomes necessary that I address you. Let me start by talking about the issue of this supposed second wave. I have always said that all our responses to covid-19 in Oyo State will be guided by data, science and logic,” he said.
“So, as far as Oyo State is concerned, the data we have is not pointing to a second wave as the curve was never flattened.”
He said the state government is doing everything necessary to provide health facilities all they need to tackle the virus.”