From January 1, 2022, any resident or visitor to Ogun State that is yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19, will not have access to public places, including markets, schools, motorparks and government offices, among others.
That is not all; the government may not also engage in any business dealing with any potential business partner that refuses to get the vaccine before the expiration of the deadline.
The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Monday, handed down the warning while flagging off the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination exercise in the state capital, Abeokuta.
Noting that the target is to vaccinate two million people across the state in the next 60 days, the governor said all unvaccinated residents of the state risk being barred from government offices, schools, markets and public transportation.
According to the Governor Abiodun, as from January 1, 2022, there would be ‘Operation Show Your Card’ as evidence of full vaccination will be required for anybody who wants to do business with the state government and for entry into government offices and schools, after the expiration of a given window.
Gov. Abiodun while giving the ultimatum during the flag-off of the mass vaccination against COVID-19 at the State Secretariat, noted that the campaign is being conducted by Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board (OGPHECADEB) in partnership with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Abiodun said the state’s target is to vaccinate more than two million people from the age of 18 and above, against the pandemic, adding that the 60-day window would allow unvaccinated residents to take their jabs as part of moves to flatten the curve.
He said: “We are going to give a window to allow for this vaccination exercise and that window starts from today till the next 60 days.
“Anybody after 60 days that is not vaccinated will not be allowed in our offices, schools. Such persons will not be allowed to do business with us. We will chase these persons from our markets.
“You will be required to carry your vaccine cards with you at all times. If you don’t have a card, you will not come to our secretariat, we will not do business with you.
“We will not allow ‘Okada’ to carry you, we will not allow the taxi to carry you, you will not be allowed in our markets. We will enforce this card. To be forewarned is to be forearmed,” he said.
Governor Abiodun also disclosed that the state has increased vaccine centres from 131 to 509 to allow eligible residents to have access to the vaccination.
According to him, the vaccination exercise would take place between November 1 and December 25 this year.
He recalled that the index case of the pandemic was discovered in the state, saying his administration’s swift response mechanism helped in combating the disease within Ogun despite its proximity to Lagos, which is the epicenter of COVID-19.
“Through our competent, structured approach to governance issues, health facilities already in place, particularly since May 29, 2019, Ogun State has been able to fight the pandemic to a standstill. And, we have continued to demonstrate our resolve in the continued provision of good health-care for the people of Ogun State. This is why we have been able to combat the pandemic head-long despite our proximity to Lagos State, the epi-centre of the pandemic.
“Indeed, within weeks, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) commended our administration for efforts at curbing Corona virus spread. Both organizations were delightfully impressed and expressed their satisfaction with the quality of facilities on ground, the human capital and the willingness of our administration to go an extra mile at ensuring that Ogun State did not become a safe haven for the COVID-19 pandemic,” the governor added.
The governor further declared that his administration would take the mass vaccination as part of the health measures and protocols in place at this period of pandemic.
“We cannot afford to lose our guards. We will ensure that the vaccination processes adequately administered in our healthcare facilities across all parts of our dear state. I enjoin our people to embrace this mass vaccination towards ensuring their safety and wellbeing against COVID-19.
“And, to demonstrate our seriousness to this vaccination exercise, we will give a time window to allow our people to get the vaccine. After that, evidence of full vaccination will be required for anybody who wants to do business with the government and for entry into government offices and schools,” Abiodun stated.
He noted that a total of 298,785 people in the state have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 148,200 people have had their second dose.
“We are not unaware of misinformation making the rounds against the effectiveness and efficiency of the vaccines and vaccination against COVID. I must say that these rumours and propaganda are nothing but fallacies. Those who are peddling the misinformation are not doing the people, nations, and the entire humanity any good. In fact, we have all seen how the vaccine and vaccination have helped in the general fight against COVID, and recovery of the economies around the world,” he said.
The Governor disclosed that the State through its Primary, Secondary and Tertiary health facilities would partner with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA), the Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF) and selected Private Health Practitioners in the campaign against the virus to ensure it reaches the two million target, stressing that Mass Vaccination Campaign would help the state achieve greater resilience to the virus.
In her address, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker said the campaign was part of efforts to stem spread of the virus especially during festive periods.
“The Mass Vaccination Campaign is part of efforts to rapidly ramp up coverage of fully vaccinated residents and fast track the return of the State’s economy to pre-Covid 19 level, therefore, we need to intensify vaccination across all Local Government Areas in the State”, Coker said
In his remark, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib who commended the State on the utilization of vaccines, said that the campaign was imperative to avoid the next wave of the pandemic, expressing confidence in the leadership of the State and the support of the people to achieve targets.
In their goodwill messages, representative, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Dele David, General Manager, National Solidarity Support Fund, Dr. Fejiro Chinenye and Iya Loja of the State, Chief (Mrs) Kemi Oloyede commended the Government for the initiative with a promise to continue to support all efforts to keep the people of Ogun healthy and safe.