Ogun, Nasarawa, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states have been ranked the best in ramping up of COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
This was revealed by the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib at the national briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC).
According to him, “We have been monitoring how states have been intensifying the ramp up of COVID-19 vaccination. We have ranked them according to performance. As of today, the top five states are: 1st : Ogun State, 2nd: Nasarawa State, 3rd: Oyo State, 4th : Osun State and 5th: Ekiti State.
“We will continue to provide you with daily updates of how governors of states are leading the effort to ensure their citizens are fully protected with COVID-19 vaccination.”
On the December 1 deadline for vaccine mandate for all federal civil servants, Dr Shuaib said: ” I would like to remind all federal government employees that starting from December 1st, 2021, they would be required to show evidence of being vaccinated against COVID-19, or a negative PCR result done within 72 hours before being allowed into their offices.
“To further ease access to COVID-19 vaccines by government employees, we have also commenced office-to-office vaccination in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). What this simply means is that employees who are yet to be vaccinated will find a vaccination site around their offices to register and get vaccinated. This will help in preventing the excuse of having to leave their place of employment to a distant vaccination site.
“We would like to also state that, from time to time, civil servants will be picked at random to check or assess their COVID-19 antibody titre to detect persons who may have fraudulently acquired the vaccination cards without vaccination. Anyone who has been found to have fraudulently obtained the vaccination card without vaccination would be handed over to the law enforcement authorities. The vaccines are free and are available at sites close to you.
“We have also engaged and are collaborating with the Nigerian Military, Police and the Para-Military institutions in the establishment of mass vaccination sites in their locations around the country. We will also be assisting with the deployment of our vaccination teams to all sites identified by these institutions.”
The NPHCDA boss also called on Nigerians and the residents to vaccinate, noting that “every COVID-19 infection gives the coronavirus a chance to mutate. Therefore, being vaccinated helps prevent variants. At this point, we would also like to address the myth that says if one has had the COVID-19 disease and has recovered from it, they are protected and do not need to get vaccinated. This is false as studies have shown that if you have had COVID-19 before and are not vaccinated, your risk of getting reinfected is more than two times higher than those who were infected and got vaccinated.
“We are aware that people hesitate to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for many reasons, ranging from personal views and fears to logistical problems of getting to vaccination sites. But waiting too long to be vaccinated allows the virus to continue spreading in the community with the emergence of new variants. Severe COVID-19 can be very dangerous, so the sooner you get vaccinated, the sooner you are protected. This is a period of intensive drive to protect Nigerians against this new variant and indeed a 4th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not taking anything for granted; we are not compromising on safety and standards, and we are fully monitoring all adverse events following immunization (AEFI). But as I have always appealed, we need the support of all Nigerians. We need every vaccinated Nigerian to appeal to their family members, their loved ones, their neighbours, and members of their communities to get vaccinated so that we are all protected. It is indeed a collective responsibility.
“This is a clarion call to those who are yet to be vaccinated to hurry up and take advantage of our mass vaccination campaign to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Those who have received their first dose should also endeavour to go and get their second dose on their due dates, for full protection.”I