COVID-19: FG Considers Action Against People Who Refuse Vaccines

The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, speaks during a press conference in Abuja on August 31, 2021.

 

As the nation continues to witness high cases of COVID-19 in the third wave, the Federal Government is considering taking some measures against people who refuse to get vaccinated.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, gave the hint at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

He explained that the Federal Government may “apply the basic rule of law” against such people because they will be endangering the lives of other people.

Shuaib noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is making frantic efforts in making the vaccines more accessible to all Nigerians.

READ ALSO: Rivers State Leads As Nigeria Records 460 Fresh COVID-19 Cases

“If some individuals refuse to take the vaccine, hence endangering those who have or those who could not due to medical exemptions, then we have to apply the basic rule of law which stipulates that your human right stops where mine begins,” he said.

“So, you have a right to refuse vaccines, but you do not have the right to endanger the health of others.

“The Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health is exploring ways of making vaccines more available to all Nigerians including federal civil servants and corporate entities.

“Once these vaccines are made equitably available to all Nigerians, then we would need to have a frank discussion about justice, fairness and liberty that exist around vaccine hesitancy.”

Shuaib’s comments come two days after the nation recorded 93 deaths from COVID-19 and 362 new cases.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said the fresh cases were reported in 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory with Lagos being the nation’s epicentre of the virus.

In a bid to win the fight against the disease, authorities have stepped up efforts to ensure citizens take the COVID-19 vaccine for more protection against the virus.

The Federal Government has asked people to go to the various vaccination centres to take the first jab of the Moderna vaccine, as well as the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

They have also encouraged everyone to continue to adhere to the measures put in place to curb the spread of the disease – even after taking the vaccine – until the nation attains herd immunity.

Nigeria To Get 3.92m More COVID-19 Vaccine Doses ‘End Of July Or Early August’, Says FG

NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, flanked by two men at a press briefing in Abuja on June 15, 2021.

 

Nigeria will receive additional 3.92 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine latest in early August.

Dr Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this to reporters on Tuesday in Abuja, however, did not give the exact dates as to when the country would take delivery of the vaccines.

“We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca by end of July or early August,” the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said at the briefing to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination.

He added, “As we receive additional information on the exact dates in August, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of this.”

The NPHCDA boss noted that the agency has held town halls in the North-central and north-east regions of the country.

He stated that while efforts to ensure the supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines were ongoing, the Presidential Steering Committee would hold its planned meeting with stakeholders in the south-south region and the larger communities on COVID-19 vaccination on the course of the week.

 

A Curfew Remains In Place

Shuaib stressed that the NPHCDA was fully committed to going to communities to discuss directly its vaccine effort, the importance of staying safe and protected against COVID-19, and answering the questions people have.

“We have been really grateful for the high levels of participation and interest in these events. We are confident that through continued awareness-raising, we will be able to keep communities safe and healthy,” he said.

 

The NPHCDA boss raised an alarm that there has been a rise in COVID-19 cases in several African countries recently and called on all Nigerians to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to him, wearing a face-covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces can save lives and a curfew remains in place from midnight until 4am every day.

Shuaib added, “Indoor gatherings must be limited to 50 people, and are only permitted if all attendees abide by social distancing and wear face masks.

“And the government has introduced restrictions on incoming travel from high-risk countries and quarantine requirements to keep Nigerians safe. With a virus like COVID-19, we each must do our part to keep our communities safe.”