The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, Thursday said lack of public trust remained a major challenge to the effective COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Nigeria.
He spoke in Abuja at the 2021 4th quarter review meeting of Northern Traditional Leaders Committee (NTLC) on Primary Health Care Delivery.
He urged the Federal Government to do more in building confidence in Nigerians to promote acceptance of the vaccine, adding that traditional leaders in the north region were ready to support the government.
The Sultan said the government needed to address the lack of trust among the citizenry, stressing that more would be achieved if the people were carried along.
He admonished Nigerians to disregard the myths and misconceptions around the COVID-19 vaccine, and get vaccinated to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.
On advisory role of the traditional leaders, Abubakar said they did not seek to criticise political leaders but rather advised on issues to make the lives of the people better.
Meanwhile, Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the mass vaccination exercise rolled out by the government was yielding positive results as more Nigerians were being vaccinated.
Chairman of the NTLC and Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, said traditional and religious leaders would continue to support all PHC programmes, especially COVID-19 vaccination and polio eradication campaign.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 4th quarter review meeting resolved to set up mass vaccination sites in palaces, to promote public confidence in the vaccines and increase uptake.
The meeting provides engagement opportunities and interaction with traditional leaders on their role and responsibility towards increasing COVID-19 vaccination uptake as well as improving PHC delivery.