The Nigerian Government has partnered with CAN to administer COVID-19 vaccines. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) will start administering vaccines in churches. Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency made the announcement. The “Sunday Vaccination” will be part of phase 2 of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination roll-out.
Through the partnership, health professionals will administer the COVID-19 vaccinations in worship centers. The vaccinations will begin on Sunday. Nigerians will receive their doses at the convenience of their worship centers. Dr. Shuaib explained the purpose of the partnership. The efforts will increase vaccination efforts in the country and reduce virus spread. He commended Christian leaders for their cooperation. The vaccination teams will be able to administer the vaccine during church service.
This is not the first time Christian leaders have played a role in combating viruses in the past. Dr. Shuaib referenced Christian leaders as key players in the eradication of polio. He called them “formidable pillars of support” which helped in eradicating the virus. On 25th August 2020, Nigeria was officially declared polio-free. This was after Nigeria went three consecutive years with no cases of the Wild Polio Virus.
The country seeks to also combat the Coronavirus pandemic through vaccination. Nigeria currently has a reported 200,057 cases of COVID-19 with 2,637 deaths. About 4,024,704 Nigerians have received one dose of the vaccine while 1,687,315 have been fully vaccinated. The Nigerian Government sought to vaccinate 40% of its 206 million people by the end of the year. The remaining 60% would receive their vaccination by the end of 2022. With a little over three months left in the year, the country is not close to achieving its goal.
The Government is putting effort into getting Nigerians to vaccinate. The partnership with CAN is one of its latest efforts. Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Federal Minister of State for Health, called on Christian leaders to help. He asked them to mobilize their ventures and their members to vaccination. He explained that Nigerians have to play a part in securing the health of the general public by getting vaccinated. He cited the highly dreaded Delta variant as one of the reasons why Nigerians must take action quickly.
Sunday Onuorah, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Interfaith Action Association spoke on behalf of the Christian leaders. He asked them to encourage their congregations to get vaccinated.
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