THE Federal Government has announced that it is working to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for civil servants and public servants in the country. The government said the process would be gradual, as it will make sure that vaccines are made available and accessible to all before implementing the policy.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who is also the chairman of COVID-19 Presidential Steering Committee, Mr Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at the sideline of a conference organised by the Forum of Health Commissioners in Nigeria, in Abuja.
Mustapha said: “The vaccine mandate obviously will come. Before now, the simple yellow fever vaccine, you could not travel the world without the card until Nigeria was exited from the list of endemic countries.
“Therefore, the world is gravitating towards that direction. I can tell you that by the time the western world vaccinates its people, you can’t get into any of the Western countries without the vaccine certificate.
“It has started happening in the European Union dispensation now. They have created some waivers for people that have been vaccinated. It is better we begin to prepare people at home.
“One of the reasons we want to do that with federal civil servants is because they will be travelling to perform roles on behalf of the Federal Government.
“The United Nations General Assembly will be starting very soon and we will need our people to go there. Assuming the American government says that you can’t come into the United States unless you are vaccinated, and we have not provided vaccination for our people, how will they go and prepare grounds for the meetings that will be attended by the president and other top government officials?
“It is a sequential thing and we are taking one step at a time. We realised we do not have sufficient vaccines, so we will not be able to impose those kinds of mandates on an automatic basis.”