The Edo State Government on Monday announced plans to make it compulsory for residents of the state to take the COVID-19 vaccine and present the certificate before accessing areas of large gatherings.
Specifically, large gatherings in churches, mosques, banks, wedding or burial receptions among others would no longer be accessed without presenting the vaccine certificate from the second week of September.
The State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, disclosed this at the Government House in Benin City, while flagging off the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
The vaccines available in Edo include Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson with a stern warning from the World Health Organisation against the mixing and matching of vaccines of different manufacturers.
But the third wave of COVID-19, according to Obaseki, is causing devastating effects across the country, hence the need to introduce stiffer measures to reduce the effect.
Obaseki said the latest reports indicate that 96 per cent of those infected with the Delta variant are those who have not been vaccinated.
So far, only 1.7 per cent of the 4.7 million population in the state were vaccinated in the first phase of the exercise.
Obaseki, however, said the target for the second phase is to hit 60 per cent.
He said, “From what we have seen so far, the COVID-19 is here to stay, there may be other waves. We need to find a solution that is why vaccination is very important. For us in Edo, we would push for vaccination to build immunity against the scourge. Our target s to vaccinate 60 per cent of our population in the next year.
“From the second week of September 2021, large gatherings will only be accessed by those who have at least taken one dose of the vaccine. From the second week, people will not be allowed to worship centres, event centres, and receptions without showing proof of the vaccination cards. From the middle of September, you can no longer access the banking services if you have not vaccinated.”
The flag-off was witnessed by representatives of security agencies, market women, educational institutions across the state, the organised labour, and other groups in the state.