COVID-19: Nigerian government insists on mandatory vaccination
The Nigerian government has said it would not relent on the mandatory vaccination policy, especially for civil and public service officers, saying the country is experiencing an increase in case fatality ratio.
The chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19,Boss Mustapha, restated this at its briefing on Monday.
Mr Mustapha said that some countries in Europe are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases due to under vaccination, and urged Nigerians to reward the government’s efforts at procuring the vaccines with massive turnout at vaccination centres.
He said: “We are currently seeing some surges in cases in some countries in Europe (especially Eastern Europe) due to under vaccination. In other territories where massive vaccinations have occurred, the infections are rising. What we see in Nigeria right now is that there is an increase in case fatality ratio, which calls for great concern.
“In our last briefing, we announced the Vaccine Mandate for 1st December, 2021. I will like to state that this is in the best interest of Nigeria looking at what is happening globally.
“We are gearing up to further engage with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to push through the mass vaccination programme and mandate for our citizens.”
Mr Mustapha added that the vaccination results will henceforth be verified, alleging that some citizens have started procuring vaccination cards through the ‘black market.’
“We have received intelligence and even detected that some unscrupulous citizens are procuring vaccination cards through the black market.
“Let me assure everyone that the vaccination records/certificates will be verified and this should serve as a warning to those criminally minded persons to desist because they will be prosecuted accordingly,” he said.
Mr Mustapha said travellers leaving the country should ensure they adhere to all travel protocols of all countries.
“In addition to the above, travelers leaving the country are encouraged to be conversant with the travel protocols of all countries (origin, transit and destination).
“This has become necessary because of comments and reports in the media that some citizens are denied boarding due to lack of pre-departure protocol compliance.”
“The protocols are clear and simple and they should be observed accordingly,” he added.
He also assured that the international travel protocol portal has been upgraded to meet existing protocol and the demands of those travelling.
Speaking further on the provision of vaccines, the PSC boss noted that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has concluded arrangements to roll out a mass vaccination plan with effect from Friday, November 20, 2021.
He said; “The PSC wishes to assure Nigerians that the NPHCDA has enough vaccines in the pipeline to vaccinate about 50% of the target population by the end of January, 2022,” he said.
“Efforts are also ongoing to bring on board the booster dose so as to build a healthy level of antibodies.”
Mr Mustapha concluded that while the PSC is approaching the end of its nine months mandate by the end of December 2021, a national summit to end COVID-19 in 2022 and to strengthen Global Health Security, is being planned to be held in Abuja from December 6 to 8, 2021. (Premium Times)