Compulsory COVID-19 vaccination
It is expected that the compulsory vaccination against COVID-19 in Edo and Kaduna states is attracting bitter brouhaha. The Federal Government is coming with its cudgel if by December 31 members of the Federal Civil Service, Federal and agencies have not had their jabs. True, it violates the rights of citizens, government workers included to decide which preventive health facilities with which they want to avail themselves. In some cases it violates beliefs, especially when we take into account the nature of our society which is still largely traditional. See the attitude of our people to wearing facemasks. We don’t ever wash hands, so forget that. Some even say they have decreed that coronavirus should stay clear of their path, homes and surroundings. Even in sophisticated societies compulsory vaccination is being stiffly resisted. Mr. Biden and Mr. Boris Johnson have had difficulties enforcing compulsion.
The deaths of Ladi Williams and Gen. Collin Powell who both had had the two doses of the vaccine have reinforced fears. So has the reluctance of the Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer one of the renowned manufacturers of a brand of the vaccine. He said at 59, he is hale and hearty. There is also the argument that there are local health remedies.
I pitched my tent with the various governments. First the World Health Organisation has confirmed the safety of the vaccines. Most doctors within our shores have confirmed the vaccines are safe. I do not understand the promoters of vaccines as saying the vaccination prevents deaths, especially where there may be hidden underlying issues already. I have not heard it said that whoever has taken the vaccination cannot contract the disease. What the vaccination does is to boost the immunity of the beneficiary. It reduces the possibility of easily contracting it—just like that. It does not stop whoever has taken it from resorting to herbal remedies later. To combine herbs with the vaccination may be such that they are incompatible.
In the face of ravaging pandemic, the government would be guilty of negligence and carelessness if it does not take pro-active steps, where necessary with stick and carrot, to save the citizens from themselves by helping to boost their immunity and be battle-ready for the pandemic. That is the responsibility of any government. Because of the drop in the spread, Mr. Biden has just asked that immigrants be allowed into the U.S. but they should go for the vaccination within 60 days. Of course Nigerian government cannot vaccinate 200 million Nigerians.
Nature of people differs, tests may be carried out in case there are men and women who cannot bear the jabs, who would freeze at the sight of the needles and syringe. What the government is saying is that it has to protect workers under its jurisdiction by strengthening their immunity. Those who have taken the jabs also have rights of protection from contracting through contacts with those who would not take and are carriers. Many airlines demand certificate of vaccination before you can get onto their flights. I also ask myself, why is it that where the vaccination has come in the nick of time and saved lives, there is no noise about such miracles?