Some Nigerian States Embrace Compulsory Vaccination; Others Oppose

Some Nigerian states are making it mandatory for all residents to get vaccinated. Some of these states include Edo, Osun, and Ondo states. However, some other states such as Plateau and Cross River have expressed their reservations on the compulsory vaccine, especially for civil servants. 

The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu expressed this in an interview with Daily Trust. She stated that there was no need for the mandatory vaccine as residents are already responding to calls to get vaccinated. She explained that the responses at the vaccination centers have been positive and there was no need to impose orders.

The State Commissioner for Information and Communication in Plateau State, Dan Manjung, also expressed his views. He explained that although it was in the best interest of the public for residents to get vaccinated, vaccination was still a choice. He mentioned that there was no plan to make it compulsory for anyone, including public servants.

“Our position as a state is that nobody should be forced. It is in the public interest to be vaccinated. For those that have received the vaccine, we implore them to go for the second dose because we have all the doses of the vaccine. And those that wish to be vaccinated for the first time should approach the primary health care centers.” He explained.

Meanwhile, in Lagos state, only 1.2% of its residents have been vaccinated. Professor Akin Osinbogun, chairman of Lagos Primary Healthcare Development Board stated that it was out of place for a country like Nigeria to impose mandatory vaccination when there aren’t enough vaccines to go around. He further cited misinformation and lack of knowledge as some of the reasons why the masses were reluctant to get vaccinated. According to Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, the State Government has not yet decided its stance on mandatory vaccination. 

Nigeria currently has a reported 202,704 cases of COVID-19 with 2,664 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. 

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