COVID-19 vaccines: Stop misinformation in your domains, FG urges monarchs
The Federal Government on Thursday expressed displeasure over the doubts and misinformation being churned out in the public domain about COVID-19 vaccines with a charge on traditional rulers to guide their subjects appropriately.
The government also said it desired “to be on the same page with our traditional and religious leaders” so that programmes that benefit the people could run smoothly.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, expressed these views during the sensitisation programme on COVID-19 vaccines for Muslim scholars and Imams in Nigeria, organized by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
He said, “A lot of misinformation about COVID – 19 is currently being circulated through various mass and traditional channels. Traditional leaders, who are custodians of the people’s culture and values, must be very discerning to guide our people aright. Please endeavour to verify any information that you cannot link to any credible source.
“This virus is no respecter of persons. It has affected every group of persons in our society including the traditional institution. This is why we must come together as one people with one voice to use our influence to promote both non-pharmaceutical preventive measures and vaccination.
“Traditional rulers are highly revered in our society, it is important that we leverage on this divine influence to instill in our people the sense of taking responsibility for themselves and their loved ones by wearing facemasks, observing hand hygiene, physical distancing avoiding large gatherings and unnecessary travels.”
Ehanire also said, “I also recognize the effort of traditional institutions towards stopping the community spread of COVID – 19. I believe it has also not been easy for traditional leaders to explain things and provide comfort to the people in these trying times, when, despite many trials, there is yet no known cure and no sure end to the disease.
“Your Eminence, Your Highnesses, we know that as precious as these vaccines are, there are voices already expressing doubt about it, even before they arrive. Scientists around the world have calculated that, for a country to be free of COVID – 19, 70 per cent of its population must be vaccinated.
“Therefore, all countries in Europe and America are rushing the vaccination programs to meet this target. We too must meet 70 per cent to save Nigeria from COVID – 19. But with doubting voices already working against the current, the Ministry of Health has concerns about getting its job done, hence this meeting to explain the nature of the vaccine to our royal fathers.”
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