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Osun begins vaccination of over 800 intending hajj pilgrims

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Osun State Government has commenced the COVID-19 vaccination of over 800 intending pilgrims to this year’s hajj as part of the requirement for visiting the Holy Land.

The state’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, Tajudeen Olaniyi Lawal, said the exercise was in compliance with the directive of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in accordance with the safety guidelines of National Primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The leadership of NAHCON had directed all the 36 states’ pilgrims welfare boards, including the FCT and Armed Forces in the country, to urgently give COVID-19 vaccines to all 2021 intending hajj pilgrims to meet up with the average of 12 weeks’ interval required for pilgrims to take two rounds of vaccination before the hajj exercise.

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Lawal, who stated this, yesterday, while addressing the registered intending pilgrims during the flag-off of the vaccination exercise in Osogbo, said the board had received enough doses to cater for the needs of the intending pilgrims.

He said the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was committed to citizens’ welfare, healthy living, safety and general well-being.

ALSO, Secretary, Osun Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr. Bolaji Sanni, who spoke with journalists, said the exercise was designed to adhere to and fulfill all necessary safety requirements laid down by health authorities.

According to him, the intending pilgrims are expected to take two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines before they leave Nigeria for Saudi Arabia.

“This vaccination exercise is in line with the directive of the NAHCON to vaccinate all the intending pilgrims as part of the necessities for this year’s hajj.

“Since the hajj exercise for this year is expected to commence in June, we are under obligation to carry out the vaccination exercise to meet up with the deadline.

“This first phase of the vaccination exercise will end by April while the second dose will be taken early in June as the intending pilgrims are expected to depart Nigeria for Saudi Arabia by the middle of June.

“We are ready to complete the exercise for all of them. Though we have the combined list of 2020 and 2021 running to 800 registered intending pilgrims so far, some are still registering and we are committed to ensuring that everybody is fairly treated,” Sanni added.

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