COVID-19: FG introduces Sunday vaccination exercise, special arrangement for working population

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The Federal Government has said it has introduced the Sunday vaccination exercise in phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, as well as a special arrangement for corporate vaccination, have been put in place to reach Christian and working populations.

Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this on Tuesday in his remarks at the Sensitization of Christian Leaders on Phase 2 COVID-19 Vaccination and Primary Health Care in Nigeria.

Shuaib said this is to ensure members of the Christian community who may not have had access to the vaccine for whatever reason are given an opportunity to be vaccinated at their worship places.

Shuaib also said the agency is working with the states as it has made a special arrangement for corporate vaccination.

“This is for eligible staff of Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), private or corporate organizations, including faith-based organizations, their family members, dependents, and retirees to be vaccinated at their convenience,” he said.

Shuaib reiterated the agency’s commitment to continue to monitor the side effects of the vaccines and as it is common with all vaccines there have been reports of mild to moderate reactions.

“This is normal with any vaccination, and we are working with NAFDAC to keep a close watch on all of those who have been vaccinated for any unlikely case of serious adverse effect.

“I want to assure you that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health and NPHCDA is committed to providing safe, effective, and free vaccines to ensure that we stop the transmission of this deadly virus.

“We will sustain regular updates to critical stakeholders such as the Christian community through the Christian Association of Nigeria and other credible platforms.

“This meeting we are having today, is in line with our strategic approach of mobilizing the communities for vaccination to ensure effective participation and collaboration in our planning, decision making and implementation processes.

“This is to equip the faith community with credible information on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.”

Shuaib expressed disappointment over challenges to collective desire to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic which is rumour and misinformation, including a few in the Christian community.

“This has resulted in vaccine hesitancy across all States of the Federation, a behaviour which puts the lives of individuals and our communities at great risk.

“Nevertheless, the Federal Government is encouraged by your presence at this meeting today as we are confident that with more systematic support from the faith community, we shall successfully vaccinate all eligible Nigerians as scheduled so that we can return to our normal way of life including the ways we worship and show care for our brethren.

“Remember that even after vaccination you need to continue to observe all COVID-19 prevention protocols including wearing face masks, maintaining hand hygiene and observing physical distancing until the Country vaccinates all eligible population and achieves herd immunity.”

Earlier, the Executive Director of Nigerian Interfaith Action Association, Dr Sunday Onuoha, in his welcome address said Covid-19 does not know Muslim and does not know Christian.

“Covid-19 goes beyond the borders of CAN bloc. So in this gathering, we are Christian brothers and sisters even from the other witnesses. Even from certain advantages who have millions and millions of followers that do not belong go CAN,” he said.

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