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FG introduces Sunday vaccination for Christians at worship places

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Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib

The Federal Government has introduced Sunday vaccination to ensure members of the Christian community have opportunity to be vaccinated at worship centres.

Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during a sensitisation of Christian leaders on the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in Abuja, yesterday.

He described feedback from the field as very encouraging and commended Christian leaders who gave the vaccination team access to their churches and members.

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He said Christian leaders across the country have been formidable pillars of support in all primary health care interventions, noting that in states and local government authorities, representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are committed members of task forces on immunisation.

“These ambassadors have contributed immensely to confidence building and trust in government-led public health programmes, especially in the days of the Nigeria polio eradication programme when we were battling with high rate of refusals due to rumours and misinformation,” he said.

Shuaib said the agency has made special arrangement for corporate vaccination for eligible staff of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), private/corporate entities, including faith-based organisations, their family members, dependents, and retirees.

He said: “We appreciate and acknowledge all our Christian leaders who have, through their sermons and public pronouncements, motivated the Christian community to get vaccinated, to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities.

“As you are aware, the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination roll out is currently ongoing across the country, in all states and local government areas. The vaccines are safe and are administered free of charge to all eligible persons, 18 years and above. I will like to inform you that the AstraZeneca vaccine is now available to be administered as first dose, as well as second dose for those who received their first dose during the first phase of the vaccine roll out which closed in July.”

The NPHCDA boss assured the Christian leaders that the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health and NPHCDA, is committed to providing safe, effective, and free vaccines to ensure the virus is contained.

Responding, on behalf of the Christian leaders, the co-chair of Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace (IDFP), Bishop Sunday Onuoha, said: “We fought together and defeated polio. We are going to defeat COVID together as a people.”

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