The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has assured Nigerians of access to safe coronavirus vaccines to stem the pandemic.
Ehanire gave the assurance at a town hall meeting of the North Central zone in Lafia on Tuesday, April 20.
The town hall meeting on vaccination was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Ehanire said that the AstraZeneca vaccine currently being administered was very safe, adding that the government would only allow safe vaccines into the country even in the future.
“Our mission here today is to reassure the traditionalists, faithful, and community leaders that the vaccines Nigeria use are tested and safe.
”And we urge leaders to recommend it to families and communities as the best protection against the dreaded disease,” he said.
The minister said that the government and other relevant authorities had put the necessary machinery in motion to ensure that 70 per cent of eligible citizens were vaccinated in the next two years.
“We must contribute to the desired 70 per cent to be vaccinated; and not just an act of individual self-protection but also a civic duty to curtail the spread of the virus.
“Every one of us has a role in the effort to stem the virus by being vaccinated; promote vaccination; and also observe the safety protocols of wearing a face mask; regular hand washing with soap; as well as maintaining physical distancing,” he said.
Ehanire, therefore, advised the public, including those vaccinated; to adhere to the safety protocols till further notice to contain the spread of the virus.
Dr Faisal Shuaib, NPHCDA Executive Director, and Chief Executive Officer, commended the governments and also stakeholders of the North Central states for attending the town hall meeting.
Shuaib said that the North Central meeting was the first of its kind; and was scheduled to hold in all the six geo-political zones of the country; to brief citizens on the importance as well as benefits of vaccination against COVID-19.
He noted that over 2,000 people had died of coronavirus complications in the country; since the first case was confirmed in Lagos on Feb. 27, 2020.