600 intending Hajj pilgrims receive COVID-19 vaccine in Ogun

ABOUT 600 intending pilgrims to Mecca and Medina for the 2021 Hajj exercise have been given the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 by the Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board (OGSMPWB).

The Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Dauda Salau, who made this disclosure while speaking at the end of the two-day exercise held at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, said the vaccination was one of the requirements for the Hajj exercise.

Salau said the vaccination was in compliance with the new health policy of Saudi Arabia and the directive of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

He added that the state government was concerned about the wellbeing and safety of the people, particularly those willing to perform the pilgrimage, urging the beneficiaries to always obey COVID-19 protocols and make themselves available for the second dose at the appropriate time.

‘’I am impressed with the large turnout of intending pilgrims who have received the COVID-19 vaccination. This is an indication that the present administration is determined to ensure that intending pilgrims from Ogun State are vaccinated against COVID-19 for their wellbeing and safety in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

“Let me add that after receiving the first dose of Astra Zeneca vaccine, you are expected to get another dose after few weeks,” he said.

On her part, a NAHCON Commissioner from the South West, Alhaja Basirat Akintunde, emphasised the importance of the vaccine, saying the exercise was free and safe for intending pilgrims, contrary to insinuations in some quarters that the intending pilgrims were made to pay for the vaccine.

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