COVID-19: CITAD pleads with citizens to get vaccinated

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By Chimezie Godfrey

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has urged citizens to cooperate with authorities in their quest to curb the spread of coronavirus by getting vaccinated and adhering to all other preventive measures.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Project Manager, Public Education Vaccine Project, CITAD, Hamza Ibrahim.

Ibrahim lamented that it is unfortunate that despite the difficult moment COVID has pushed people into, vaccination against the virus in the country is still very low.

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According to him, Premium Times Newspaper reported on 4th December, 2021 that only 3% of Nigerians are vaccinated, this is disturbing at a time when Omicron variant is surfacing.

He said,”What is happening in countries such as South Africa, United Kingdom, Czech, U.S.A, Netherlands, Columbia, etc should serve as a lesson to Nigeria and Nigerians that COVID is not gone yet. And with Omicron variant making waves we must urge that efforts to curb the spread of the virus be taken more seriously. Recommendations: As a matter of urgency we appeal to all unvaccinated Nigerians to quickly go and take the vaccine.

“We urge stakeholders and opinion leaders in Plateau state to work together to address misconception theories on COVID and its vaccination as well as enlighten the public on the relevance of the vaccine.

“We urge authorities in Borno state to ensure the provision of sufficient seals to the vaccination spots and motivate vaccination staff by paying their allowances.

“We urge people to disregard fake narratives around the vaccine as the narratives were not scientifically proven. Reputable health agencies have confirmed the efficiency of the vaccine as such people should disregard the rumours Health authorities in various states should prioritize information sharing on how and where people can get the vaccine.

“To this end we would like to strongly appeal to traditional and religious leaders, the media, community associations and opinion leaders in the society to join us in the campaign to enlighten people on the relevance of the vaccine and taking it.

“We want traditional leaders to use their chain of leadership to emphasize the role of the vaccine and taking it, we equally want religious leaders to sensitize their members and followers in various fora on taking the vaccine.

“We want to urge all and sundry in the society to corporate with authorities in their quest to curbing the spread of the virus by adhering to all measures being put in place.COVID is not over yet, therefore measures such as putting on face masks and avoiding crowd or maintaining social distancing where necessary should still be observed. If you are not vaccinated, quickly and get vaccinated!

Earlier in the statement , Ibrahim decried the low level of compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Borno, Plateau, Kano, Bauchi and Kaduna states due to lack of COVID certificate seal or barcode in vaccination spots, nonpayment of COVID vaccine administrators, misconception on vaccine amongst government officials, lack of sufficient information on where and how to be vaccinated, fear of future of consequences of the vaccine and conspiracy theories of opinion leaders, among others.

He therefore appealed to the aforementioned state governments among others, to address the challenges in their respective states to enable better acceptance of the vaccine and adherence to the other preventive protocols by their citizens.

Ibrahim stressed that efforts no matter how carefully tailored cannot alone succeed in addressing the virus if members of the society do not support and cooperate with the initiatives, adding that taking the vaccine is surely one way to prevent “ourselves from the virus.”

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