BY INNOCENT ODOH |
The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Rt. Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis has tasked Members of the regional Parliament to work with governments in the sub-region to dismiss the unpleasant conspiracy theory that limits citizens of the community from accepting the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Speaker, who gave this charge at the official opening of the 2021 First Extraordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament in Freetown, Sierra Leone, said that there is the challenge of vaccine hesitancy within the population, due to conspiracy theorists.
He stressed that the discovery of the vaccine is a stunning scientific achievement, and a much-needed source of hope.
“This would require the efforts of everyone, to educate our constituents on the safety and benefits of getting vaccinated once it is available. We must continue this campaign until such a time when we would have attained Herd Immunity,” he said.
Hon. Tunis recalled that over a year ago, the world suffered from the debilitating impact of the pandemic which crippled economies and affected social life patterns.
He said: “Movements were halted, our way of life redefined, economies crumbled, hospitals and health systems got overwhelmed, lives were lost and hearts were filled with uncertainty.
“One year later, we are celebrating the development and approval of safe and effective vaccines after the emergence of a new virus. This is a stunning scientific achievement, and a much-needed source of hope.
“I join other world leaders to commend the scientists and researchers for such brilliant and robust intervention at a time when the world needed it most.
“I also commend the Governments and Philanthropic Organizations that invested huge resources towards the development of the new vaccine entities”.
He stressed that while the world celebrates the development of vaccines, the parliamentarians are not insensitive to the new level of challenge that comes along, which is the emergence of the disparity between rich countries and poor nations who cannot procure for themselves.