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FG hints on sanctions for Nigerians who refuse vaccination

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja while briefing newsmen about COVID-19 vaccination, that the federal government has said that it is considering sanctions against Nigerians who endanger the lives of others by refusing COVID-19 vaccination.

In his statement, he said, “The Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health are exploring ways of making vaccines more available to all Nigerians including federal civil servants and corporate entities and upon the availability of the vaccines, we would need to have a frank discussion about justice, fairness, and liberty that exist around vaccine hesitancy.

Commenting about the rights of people to decline the call for vaccinations, he stated that, “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. So, you have a right to refuse vaccines, but you do not have the right to endanger the health of others.”

Furthermore, he called on governors to provide leadership in mobilizing citizens and encourage them to participate in the vaccination exercise.

To this effect, the Edo and Ondo state governments had announced that those who have not been vaccinated would be restricted from accessing public places, including religious centres, to which, Shuaib commended the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki for mobilising religious leaders toward mass acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, granted an ex parte order restraining Obaseki and the Edo State Government from enforcing the directive mandating all residents of the state to compulsorily get vaccinated for COVID-19.

On the second phase of the vaccination exercise, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, commented that, for clients who have not had any vaccination, the Moderna vaccine is available and is being administered currently in all designated health facilities in the country. He said the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination has commenced in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The NPHCDA boss called on those who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine before 8th July 2021 to go for their second dose to be fully protected against all strains of the coronavirus.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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