All Nigerians must be vaccinated against Covid-19, FG says

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The Federal Government said yesterday that all Nigerians must be vaccinated of COVID-19.

Secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, stated this in in Abuja at the 2021 first quarter meeting of the northern traditional leaders committee on primary healthcare delivery.

Mustapha based his assertion on the premise that prevention and observation of non-pharmaceutical methods are the best ways to fight the pandemic.

He charged traditional rulers to educate their people on the dangers of the pandemic and the need to adhere to the pandemic protocols.

He said, “It is pertinent to reiterate the fact that COVID-19 is real and that we are currently battling with the ferocious nature of the second wave of the pandemic. In spite of the high rate of infections and fatality, the fact is that we are still not testing enough.

“What this means is that the figures we are having now may just be a tip of the iceberg when you also take into consideration the fact that a lot of persons are asymptomatic.

“This virus is no respecter of persons. It has affected every group of persons in our society including the traditional institution. This is why we must come together as one people with one voice to use our influence to promote both the non-pharmaceutical preventive measures and vaccination”

Meanwhile, the Northern governors under the auspices of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) have all agreed to take the first dose of the vaccine when it arrives in the country.

Chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, made the disclosure in his address to a webinar where the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine organised by the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation (SABMF) was discussed.

The governor who was represented by the Plateau State Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Prof Danladi Atu said, “We the Northern governors have agreed to take the first dose of the vaccines.”

The online seminar among others was basically to sensitise the general public and provide answers to all the issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its vaccines.

In his presentation, Dr Faisal Shu’aibu, executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and Prof Abdulsalam Nasidi, a pioneer epidemiologist, gave various insights into the efficacy of the vaccines.

Shuaibu also disclosed that the projection is that 70 per cent of Nigerians will be vaccinated over the period of two years, adding that in the first phase, 40 per cent of the population will be vaccinated, while in the second phase 39 per cent of the population is expected to be vaccinated.

In doing so, he said risk communication strategies will be implemented across the different phases of the vaccine introduction.

Others who learnt their voices to the subject matter include Dr Nasiru Sani Gwarzo, an epidemiologist and permanent secretary in Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investments; Prof Zubairu Iliyasu, director of Centre for Infectious Diseases Bayero University Kano; Prof Sarki Abba, director of Center for Urologic Oncology Northwestern University Chicago USA, and Dr Muhammed Adis, executive secretary of Nasarawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NSPHCDA), among others.

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