Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Ahead of tomorrow’s deadline set for all civil servants to show proof of vaccination accessing their offices, the federal government, has commenced an office-to-office vaccination exercisein federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
This is as the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) said some 6,504,043 eligible persons had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria as at yesterday, Monday, November 29, 2021.
Government also claimed that some 3,586,812 persons had been fully vaccinated with over 30 million doses of the vaccines at hand, while another 60 million doses would arrive before the first quarter of 2022.
It, however, said no one had died as a result of taking COVID-19 vaccine.
Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who spoke at the media briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in Abuja, said as part of efforts to ease access to COVID-19 vaccines by government employees, the NPHCDA has also commenced office-to-office vaccination.
“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,” he said.
Shuaib also warned against fraudulent practices, saying the agency would adopt a strategy of picking civil servants randomly to check or assess their COVID-19 antibody titre in order to detect persons, who may have fraudulently acquired the vaccination cards without vaccination.
He said anyone, who is found to have fraudulently obtained the vaccination card without vaccination would be handed over to the law enforcement authorities.
Shuaib further said the agency was collaborating with the Nigerian Military, Police and the Para-Military institutions in the establishment of mass vaccination sites in their locations around the country.
In addition, the NPHCDA boss said the agency in collaboration with the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) was planning to launch the mass vaccination in Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps across the country.
“This is to ensure that all refugees and internally displaced persons and their families are fully protected and that the camps are safe for habitation,” he said.
Shuaib, however, urged all MDAs to work towards facilitating the rapid vaccination of their personnel, adding that this has become even more expedient in view of the emergence of the Omicron variant, which is a more virulent strain of COVID-19 and is expected to cause more severe illness.