Ahead of the December 1 deadline for the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal civil servants, the Federal Government has warned employees who love their jobs to go and get vaccinated.
Despite criticisms that have trailed the directive, which was first announced in September, the Federal Government, yesterday, insisted that its decision was in the best interest of Nigerians.
Recall that the chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had announced that effective December 1, 2021, unvaccinated Federal Government workers won’t be allowed access into any public offices, as part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic.
Speaking during the COVID-19 vaccination update yesterday, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, observed that the COVID-19 vaccine mandate has become a global phenomenon and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the fight against the pandemic.
He said: “There’s a deadline already set and we are hoping that it will encourage those civil servants who love their jobs and are yet to take the COVID-19 vaccine to take the jab for their own good. The reason is that there’s evidence that supports the fact that if you are fully vaccinated, the effect of COVID-19 won’t be much on you. But that is not the same with unvaccinated people. There are higher chances of survival if a fully vaccinated person comes down with COVID-19.
“However, those who have not taken the vaccine are a threat to the safety of other people who have been fully vaccinated and possibly share same public places with them by virtue of being colleagues. There’s a higher risk of them infecting other people, and that’s what we want to avoid. In addition to that, we want to secure the health of others who share the same public spaces.
“Evidently, most countries now insist on presenting evidence of full vaccination before someone is being allowed into public places.”
He, thus, confirmed the availability of sufficient COVID-19 vaccine and advised unvaccinated persons to take advantage of that and get immunised against coronavirus.
MEANWHILE, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said that Nigeria is closer to beginning the production of vaccines having met the recommendations listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Maturity Level Three status for the production of COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, said Nigeria has met the conditions given to it by WHO, adding that Maturity Level Three is a compulsory status for any country that wants to venture into vaccine production and other activities around that.
Adeyeye, who noted that WHO made 868 recommendations to Nigeria, which have all been met, said: “The journey for the feat started in January 2018, and by October 2021, Nigeria through the efforts of NAFDAC, with support from Federal Ministry of Health, has met the recommendations.”
The NAFDAC boss stated that relevant infrastructure and procurements have been provided to support the desired objective. “We have expanded our drugs laboratory in Yaba, and our vaccine laboratory is also being built in Oshodi, both in Lagos, and it will be completed soon.”
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