Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) has urged community stakeholders to mobilise their people for COVID-19 vaccination.
The SGF stated this at a town hall meeting on COVID-19 Vaccination for North Central Zone held in Lafia on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in collaboration with the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA).
Mustapha said that community stakeholders had an important role to play in mobilising community members to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination.
According to him, getting vaccinated is the only option available to stop the spread of the virus for now.
“The combination of non pharmaceutical measures and the vaccine is the only way to go for now in stopping transmission of the virus. Vaccination is pivotal to our efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
Mustapha also urged them to help disabuse the minds of their people from the misinformation about the vaccine.
He cautioned that vaccination would soon be used as a criteria for assessing different services, such as applying to travel to foreign countries among others.
”So there is the need for Nigerians to come out and get vaccinated so as to stem the transmission.
”This is the opportunity we have and we must take it and ensure we do not lose out in taming this pandemic,” he said.
He assured that the federal government is committed to providing all necessary resources to ensure Nigerians have unfettered access to the COVID-19 Vaccine.
“With the existing arrangements with development partners, Nigeria will continue to access the vaccines which will arrive in batches to cater for over 70 per cent of our population .
” It will be between 2021 and 2022 according to the roll out and administration plan,” he said.
Mustapha who acknowledged the dedication of health workers across the country, reiterated federal government’s assurance that the currently used AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and would continued to be administered free of charge.
Sule said that sensitising the people of the North Central Zone on the importance of taking the COVID-19 vaccine was apt and a proactive measures for the prevention of the spread of the deadly virus.
He said the event would be an impetus to the sensitisation and mobilisation for the people of the state and the North Central zone to accept to take the vaccine.
“This endeavour is necessary considering the negative rumour being peddled on social media to discourage the vaccination,” the governor said.
He said that a sizeable number of the target group in the state have been vaccinated with the first dose, adding that the administration of the second dose would soon commence.
“In this regard, myself, the Deputy Governor and other members of the State Executive Council, as well as the frontline health workers, traditional rulers, religious and opinion leaders and few other members of the society have been vaccinated.
“In the same vein, both the Christian and Muslim intending pilgrims have gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.
The governor explained that given the impact of COVID-19 on the health sector, the government resolved to evolve measures that would strengthen the provision of healthcare facilities at primary, secondary and tertiary levels across the state.
“I am happy to state that, part of our commitment in this direction is the completion of the Nasarawa State Infection Disease, Diagnosis and Research Centre.
”The Centre is serving as a Research hub, crucible for innovations and operational research that provokes policy initiation.
“The Centre also conducts clinical trials for vaccines, drugs and other products, in compliance with ethical standards, as well as support trainings in public health and researches at all levels.
“In addition, it provides scientific guidance for the local production of vaccines, diagnostic kits, sera, anti-sera and other related health products,” he said.
NAN reports that several political office holders including other governors in the north central zone joined the meeting via the zoom App.
Others in attendance at the meeting were health officials, traditional rulers, religious rulers and community stakeholders. (NAN)