COVID-19 vaccination not compulsory for all civil servants – FG

The federal government Thursday clarified the position of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on the mandatory for all civil servants to be vaccinated before December 1, saying the alternative is for workers to show proof of negative PCR test.

The PCR test is prove that individuals are not carriers of COVID- 19 virus.

Clarifying the position of the PSC at the weekly media briefing at the headquarters of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Abuja, the Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said, ‘if the federal government is making vaccination compulsory, it would not exempt those with negative PCR test.’

Giving reasons for the seemingly tough position of the federal government, Dr. Shuib said the PRC took the decision in order to protect the most vulnerable people in the society and ensure that the work place is safe for all.

He stated further that: “Clearly, there is loss of productivity and its impact on socio economic development when workers are unable to come to work on regular and consistent basis due to outbreak of an infectious disease such as COVID-19.

“Following advice by public health experts, the PSC announced that all federal government employees should make a choice as to how they can contribute towards making the work environment COVID-19 free. The logical choice is between taking the vaccine and showing evidence of this or presenting proof that one is COVID-19 free by showing a negative PRC test taken 72 hours prior.

“This provision is applicable to all federal government institutions. The decision to release this advisory was not taken lightly, it is part of the PSC and Federal Ministry of Health’s mantra to always use scientific evidence to make decisions for the benefit of all Nigerians.”

Dr. Faisal said Nigerians should not entertain fear that the vaccine available would not go round all civil servants, saying the NPHCDA has enough vaccines to cover more than the federal government employees, adding that the agency is expecting more.

He stated further that based on delivery forecast from COVAX facility and the African Union, Africa will have adequate vaccines to cover more than 50% of eligible populations by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

He said: “In other words, please do not worry about the availability of vaccines; we have the supply chain figured out.”

Dr. Faisal also said that as of Thursday, a total of 5,246,523 eligible populations have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria. He said the figure represents 4.7% of the targeted population and the number of eligible persons fully vaccinated in Nigeria is 2,546,094 which represent 2.3% of the targeted population.