COVID-19: NGO urges govt., NCDC officials to take vaccine first, restore people’s confidence

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An Abuja-based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), on Monday urged government officials at all levels and members of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to avail themselves of the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to restore the people’s confidence.

Our correspondent reports that Nigeria is expecting 100,000 doses of the the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer for distribution in 36 states as efforts in containing the spread of the deadly pandemic.

Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer of the organisation, said this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja.

Ikokwu said that only leadership by example on the part of the leaders would assure Nigerians of the potency of the vaccines.

“Following the fear of and pessimism of Nigerians in taking the vaccine, top government officials and federal executives, including NCDC and NAFDAC executives and top government officials, should take the jab first and show example.

“Taking the vaccine first in front of TV and media houses should pacify people and dismiss all fears concerning the vaccine,” she said.

The SOHI boss who raised fears about the capability of Nigeria to handle such a vaccine that required uninterrupted temperature of minus 70°C to store, called for adequate arrangements to ensure proper handling of the vaccine.

According to her, “I was at a ZOOM meeting, organised by National Primary Health Care Development Agency, to sensitise people on the vaccine, the agency assured us that they have made adequate arrangements to ensure proper handling of the vaccine.”

Ikokwu appealed to Nigerians to support the vaccination process on condition that the leaders at different levels and health workers first take the vaccine.

She expressed optimism in the possibility of achieving victory over the pandemic in the nearest future with a collective efforts of all stakeholders.

Ikokwu said that the second wave of the pandemic was more contagious than the first wave which could only be contained with commitment of all to the safety protocols of hand washing, face masks and other measures. 

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