In fulfilment of its earlier pledge to ensure hitch-free vaccination, the Lagos State Government has vaccinated about 1,700 intending pilgrims embarking on the year 2021 holy pilgrimage to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The two-day vaccination exercise which took place on Saturday and Sunday at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, was conducted by officials of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
Speaking during the exercise, the Hon. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi, emphasized that since the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the requirements for gaining entry into Saudi Arabia, it became compulsory and expedient for every intending pilgrim, Ulamah (clerics), staff, etc. to get the vaccine.
He disclosed that 1,518 intending pilgrims, 105 Ulamah (clerics), 25 Hajj Guides and 52 members of staff of the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board were vaccinated during the exercise.
While affirming that not all the state’s intending pilgrims were present for the weekend’s vaccination exercise, Elegushi urged those that falls into this category to ensure that they get themselves vaccinated in any of the accredited centres across the state without further delay.
The Commissioner urged them to immediately take the vaccine in order to meet up with the average of 12 weeks interval required for every intending pilgrim to take the two doses of the vaccine before departing for the Hajj exercise.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Elizabeth Adebunmi Adekanye who was at the venue to monitor the exercise and ensure strict compliance with the COVID-19 protocols, said the two-day exercise was commendable.
She also advised those that had gotten the vaccine outside the Board’s arrangements to endeavor to bring their certificate to the Board for necessary documentation.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Rahman Ishola, expressed delight at the impressive turn out of the intending pilgrims for the vaccination despite the short notice.