Vaccination Not Compulsory For Civil Servants – FG

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Chinedu Ibeakanma
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Federal Government has explained that taking the COVID-19 vaccine is a choice and not a compulsory exercise, even though it is expected that every Nigerian should get vaccinated against the dreaded COVID-19 virus.

The explanation came against the backdrop of criticisms that followed media reports that effective December 1, 2021, federal civil servants would be expected to present their vaccine cards or risk not being allowed into their workplaces.

COVID-19 vaccine

Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, at a press conference, yesterday, in Abuja, however, clarified that federal civil servants were not under obligation to take the vaccine, but that they must show negative COVID-19 PCR test.

“The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), on Wednesday, announced interventions to, not only protect the most vulnerable people in our society but to also ensure that the workplace is safe for all citizens. Clearly, there is a loss of productivity and its impact on socio-economic development when workers are unable to come to work on a regular, and consistent basis due to outbreaks of an infectious disease such as COVID-19.

“Following advice by public health experts, the PSC announced that all Federal Government employees should make a choice as to how they can contribute towards making the work environment COVID-19-free. The logical choice is between taking the vaccine and showing the evidence or presenting proof that one is COVID-19-free by showing a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior. This provision is applicable to all Federal Government institutions. The decision to release the advisory was not taken lightly. It is part of the PSC and Federal Ministry of Health’s mantra to always use scientific evidence to make decisions for the benefit of all Nigerians.”

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On the question of the availability of vaccines, he said they had already done a comprehensive analysis and forecast of COVID-19 vaccines and it was confirmed that there are enough vaccines to cover more than the population of Federal Government employees.

“Based on delivery forecasts from the COVAX facility and African Union, Nigeria will have adequate vaccines to cover more than 50 percent of eligible populations by the end of the first quarter of 2022. In order words, please do not worry about the availability of vaccines because we have the supply chain figured out already,” he said.

He also explained that NPHCDA is committed to ramping up COVID-19 vaccine uptake, and it had put in place plans for the establishment of mass vaccination sites across the country.

“The objective is to vaccinate a high volume of individuals through large sites such as federal institutions, shopping malls, religious centers, sporting events, conference centers, and markets etc. This will require strong collaboration between NPHCDA, state governments, religious bodies, school authorities, and governing bodies of malls and large sporting events.

“As we expand the vaccination sites, we encourage all eligible Nigerians to avail themselves for vaccination. We have commenced the process of decentralizing COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria, to include private health care providers. This is to expand access and increase utilization of the vaccines which will not affect free vaccination policy.

“We are working with relevant security agencies to make examples of these individuals who may wish to buy or sell the cards by naming and shaming them. We are also enhancing the security features of our vaccination cards in order to limit forgeries,” he said.

Source: Sun News

This post was written by Chinedu Ibeakanma.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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