Amid Federal Government’s concern over many Nigerians’ reluctance to take the Covid-19 vaccine and its plan to impose sanctions on those who refuse the vaccine when it is made available to all, some states have said they do not intend to force anyone to take the vaccine.
The states, including Enugu, Taraba, Cross River, Ogun, Bauchi and Abia, said they would keep appealing to their residents to take the vaccine instead of adopting strict measures to compel them.
Bothered about the low vaccination level across the country and the deadly nature of the Delta variant that is now in the country, the Federal Government had said it was exploring ways of making vaccines more available to all Nigerians and that it would not hesitate to “apply the basic rule of law” against people who refused the vaccine because they would be endangering the lives of others.
The Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, on August 31, said, “The Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health are exploring ways of making vaccines more available to all Nigerians, including federal civil servants and corporate entities.
“Once these vaccines are made equitably available to all Nigerians, then we will need to have a frank discussion about justice, fairness and liberty that exist around vaccine hesitancy. If some individuals refuse to take the vaccine, hence endangering those who have or those who could not due to medical exemptions, then we have to apply the basic rule of law, which stipulates that your human right stops where mine begins.
“So, you have a right to refuse vaccines, but you do not have the right to endanger the health of others.”
Meanwhile, the six states ruled out such measures, saying they would continue to appeal to their residents.