Plateau and Cross River states have expressed reservations over compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for residents, especially civil servants.
Edo, Ondo and Osun states have, however, made vaccination mandatory for their citizens.
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Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust mONday, Cross River State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, said there was no need for compulsory vaccination.
Edu, who is also the chairman of COVID-19 Taskforce Team in the state, said residents are responding to calls to take the jab.
“We really don’t need to impose an order for all to submit to the vaccination.
“This is because we are having good responses by the people who call at vaccination centres,” she said.
Also, the Plateau State government said there was no plan to make the vaccination mandatory for public servants or anyone.
Dan Manjang, the state’s Commissioner for Information and Communication, said though it was in the public interest for people to be vaccinated against the deadly virus, vaccination was a matter of choice for everyone.
“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 centres.
“It is incumbent as a state to ensure that our citizens are vaccinated but it is a matter of choice for one to seek medical assistance when they are sick. It is discretionary. We don’t have a policy like that and we don’t intend to have such a policy,” he added.
An infectious diseases expert, Professor Akin Osinbogun, said compulsory vaccination was out of place in a country where there were not enough vaccines to go round for everyone.
Osinbogun, who is the chairman of Lagos Primary Healthcare Development Board, linked the reluctance from the masses to lack of knowledge and widespread misinformation.
Only 1.2% of Lagos residents vaccinated
In Lagos, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said the state government was yet to take any decision on compulsory vaccination.
He, however, said the government has been mounting campaigns on strict compliance to all the non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 protocols.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had at the 2021 Global Citizen Live Concert, which was held at Fela’s Afrika Shrine in Ikeja at the weekend, said only 1.2 per cent of Lagos residents have been vaccinated.
The vaccination rate, according to the governor, was far below the minimum target of 60 per cent recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) per city population.
7,000 vaccinated in 3 days in Edo
The Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Osamwonyi Irowa, on Monday disclosed that it has administered over 7,960 vaccines on residents within three days.
He also disclosed that the state recorded 58 new cases and five new deaths in 72 hours bringing the total deaths to 64.
Irowa, who disclosed this in Benin, said the figure was between Friday, September 17 and Sunday, September 19.
He said the high turnout of vaccine uptake was as a result of the ongoing enforcement on “no vaccine card, no access to government offices”.
According to him, the number of individuals showing interest to get vaccinated in the state has risen above the daily target of 3,000.
“We are witnessing increasing demand for the vaccine. We have enough vaccines for Edo people and our target is to hit the roof,” he said.
Wike threatens another lockdown
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said the government may be constrained to re-impose lockdown if residents failed to adhere to the existing COVID-19 protocols.
The governor, in a broadcast, said daily figures released from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) show that both the transmission and death rates from the virus have consistently been on the rise in recent weeks.
He blamed this on the failure of residents and visitors to comply with the existing COVID-19 protocols.
From Victor Edozie (Port Harcourt), Eyo Charles (Calabar), Christiana T. Alabi, Risikat Ramoni (Lagos) Ado A. Musa, (Jos) & Usman A. Bello (Benin)