The federal government has set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine Monitoring and Accountability in collaboration with the security agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and
other Related Offences Commission, ICPC to arrest and prosecute Covid-19 vaccine cards racketeers across in Country.
This followed the alarm over alleged arrest of some individuals selling Covid-19 vaccination cards in some parts of Nigeria.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA who disclose this at the South South Zonal Town Hall meeting on Covid-19 on Saturday in Benin City, Edo State Capital, said the measure is aimed at ensuring vaccine security and accountability.
He said the government is working with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to further educate and sensitize Nigerians on health benefits of the vaccination.
Shuaib appealed to Governors, traditional, Religious leaders and other influencers in the South-South geopolitical zone to encourage, sensitise, educate Citizens to get the jab and not just the card to seek protection against COVID-19. People should be encouraged to get the jab and not just the card.
He also blame misinformation and disinformation on Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, commended Edo and Ondo, State for enforcing compulsory vaccination of Covid-19.
“To ensure vaccine security and accountability, NPHCDA is also collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) while we are working with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to further educate and sensitize Nigerians on the benefits of vaccination.
“We are particularly concerned about the reported attempts to sell COVID-19 vaccination card to clients who would rather put themselves and others at risk than seek protection against the disease.
“The government is not in any way going to condone this. We have put together a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine Monitoring and Accountability to detect and bring offenders to the limelight. We must all understand that vaccine card racketeering, or any other related offence, is a crime that can land any convicted person in jail.
“Again, we wish to appeal to Your Excellencies, Traditional and Religious leaders as well as other influencers in the South-South geopolitical zone to help in sensitizing and educating the citizens on this and other issues so that our people will come to understand the need and urgency to seek protection against COVID-19. People should be encouraged to get the jab and not just the card”.
In a remark, the minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said over 2000 lives have been lost to Covid-19 in Nigeria while Nigeria has crashed by 33 percent since outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria in February 2020.
He reiterated the federal government in partnership with the private sector to embark on Covid-19 vaccine production to compliment Health public Relation the vaccine delivery and vaccination coverage for Nigerians to attain herd immunity, which is the Civic w address, the Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki highlighted the interventionsn his government has taken to curb the spread of the disease since the outbreaks of pestilence in the State.
Obaseki who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Osaigbovo Iguobaro, asserted that no evidence of Covid-19 vaccination proof (card), no access into government facilities, Banks and other facilities in the State is still in force.
According to him, “over 130,000 persons have been vaccinated in Edo State, ahead of the 60 percent vaccination target”.
Dr. Walter Kazadi Molumbo who joined the Town Hall meeting via zoom, reassured the safety of the vaccine and dismissed myths about the vaccination.
Responding, the State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Bishop Oriname Oyonnude-Kure who was represented by Mrs. Christiana Jegede, expressed concern over alleged misinformation in the sewage of social by conspiracy theorists, which he claimed has adversely affected the belief system in Nigeria.