COVID-19 Spread: NPHDA Canvasses Compulsory Vaccination Enforcement In Nigeria

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) has asked state governments to enact and enforce vaccination mandate for local and state government workers across the country, as this was part of their responsibility.

In its latest advisory, the agency also told state governors to step up mass vaccination against COVID-19 as part of effort to combat the spread of the virus in the country.

The advisory reads in part, “Enact and enforce vaccine mandate for all state and local government workers, direct mandatory set up of mass vaccination sites in public places including markets, parks, event centres, stadia and academic institutions.

“Pay weekly unscheduled visits to at least one mass vaccination site to supervise and motivate the vaccination teams, chair weekly review meetings with traditional and religious leaders to address vaccination gaps.’

This follows the slow pace of vaccination in the country as fully vaccinated Nigerians currently stands at 4.2 per cent while those who have taken their first dose remains at 9.8 per cent as at January 9, 2021.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in its daily updates has been reporting increases in the number of deaths no fewer than 38 between January 1 and January 8, 2022.

“Despite the increasing number of cases and deaths, some states have not vaccinated up to 200,000 individuals while Abia, Kogi and Niger states have not commenced administration of booster shots.” The advisory noted.

Punch reports that some states have commenced the booster administration, while Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Imo, Kwara, Sokoto and Yobe had yet to administer boosters up to 100 residents. Imo State has only administered ten booster shots, Ebonyi administered 52, Akwa Ibom and administered 67.

Recall that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had in October announced that Federal Government workers who failed to show proofs of vaccination would be barred from government offices.

The Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shauib had, in another press briefing in 2021, said that individuals who refused to get vaccinated would not be allowed to infect other people.

The Boss Mustapha-led Presidential Steering Committee also went ahead to issue a vaccination mandate to Federal civil servants. The Committee had stated that Federal Civil servants without proof of vaccination and negative PCR tests would not be allowed into their respective offices as of December 1, 2021.

Consequently, federal civil servants who refused to adhere to the mandate were turned back home while others had to visit makeshift vaccination sites to get vaccinated.

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