With the rising incidences of the COVID-19 delta variant in Nigeria, the National Primary Health Development Agency has proclaimed zero tolerance for vaccination racketeering.
The Executive Director of the Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who was speaking while updating the press about COVID-19 vaccination said it is a punishable offence to obtain vaccination card without receiving the jab.
The Executive Director, warned that security agencies including the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, have been mandated to investigate and prosecute all allegations of vaccination racketeering adding that both sellers and sellers of vaccination cards will be named and shamed.
While urging the citizens to get vaccinated as it will protect them against the virus, Dr. Shuaib also urged them to report suspicious acts or attempts to sell vaccination cards without being vaccinated.
Dr. Walter Mulombo of the World Health Organization, WHO, appreciated the Nigeria government for its efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to COVID-19 and warned that the variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus present in Nigeria are dangerous, hence the need to continue using the tools such as vaccination, physical distancing, masking among others to protect ourselves against them.
Dr. Mulombo, noted that WHO does not recommend making proof of COVID-19 vaccination a mandatory condition for entry to or exit from a country, saying that countries can consider lifting testing and/or quarantine requirements for international travellers who have been fully vaccinated.
According to him, although people who are fully vaccinated or those who were previously infected may still be able to be re-infected and transmit the virus, evidence has shown that the risk is substantially lowered so they present a lowered risk to others in the country they are entering and consequently do not impose an increased strain on health systems in the destination country.
He opined that making proof of vaccination as a condition of travel particularly in the scarcity of vaccines around the world would deliver double inequality, as individuals from country who have no access to vaccine will have no access to travel.
Dr. Ganga Gapto, who represented the UNICEF country Director, told Nigerians that it is necessary to complete the vaccine to ensure full protection for them, their families and the society at large.