NIGERIA’S federal government has announced that it may sanction eligible citizens who refuse to take the Covid-19 vaccine as part of a renewed health campaign to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
So far, Nigeria has been spared the worst of the Covid-19 as the number of affected people is low but on the other hand, this has led to a high level of complacency. Many affected people have refused to isolate, some people have refused to be vaccinated and other protocols such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks have been totally ignored.
Faisal Shuaib, the executive director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the government may apply the basic rule of law against such people because their actions will be endangering the lives of other people. Plans are being drawn up to address the issue.
He added: “The Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health is mapping out ways of making vaccines more available to all Nigerians. Once these vaccines are made available to all Nigerians, we would need to revisit the fairness and liberty that exist around vaccine hesitancy.
“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. So, you have a right to refuse vaccines but you do not have the right to endanger the health of others.”
Last week, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State mandated people of the state to take the vaccine. He warned that, as from September 15, anyone who has not been vaccinated will not be allowed into public places such as banks and worship centres.