Uzodimma threatens to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma has threatened to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory in the state if residents continue to refuse the jab.
He made the threat at the weekend during an address in Owerri.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had on September 27 published statistics, which placed Imo as having the highest figure of 124 cases in a single day, above other states in the country.
He said: “I have taken the vaccine. My wife has. The Deputy Governor and his wife have. The Speaker and all honourable members have. All members of my cabinet have. In all these, there has been no single adverse incident.
“Consequently, no one has any further reason to be afraid of taking the vaccine. In this respect, if the foot-dragging continues, the government might be forced to make the vaccination compulsory for all Imo people and residents. We might also take the further step of insisting that no one can do any business with the government without evidence of vaccination.
“I must add that the observance of all COVID-19 protocols remains in force.”
These include compulsory wearing of face mask, maintenance of social distancing and regular washing and sanitisation of hands.”
The governor used the occasion of the independence anniversary to “remind Imo people that COVID-19 is real and that we should desist from living in denial.”
Those who have been following the daily statistics of NCDC know that the number of infections and fatalities is not abating.”
He stressed his administration has spent huge resources to ensure the good health and safety of the people. He said it has continued with massive testing across the state to identify new cases for isolation and treatment.
According to him, this is going on in all the 27 local government areas of the state, using rapid diagnostic test kits. He noted that testing is also going on in some designated private and mission health centres.
“We have made training and retraining of our health staff on control and containment of the virus a continuous exercise,” he noted.
Uzodimma added: “It is important to emphasise that the best preventive measure is through vaccination.
The state government has procured sufficient vaccines for our people. Sadly, however, many are still refusing to take the vaccine because of some unfounded superstitious beliefs.
“For the umpteenth time, let me state it clearly that the vaccines are safe, as confirmed by world-class scientists and the World Health Organisation.”