The Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed has decried people’s skepticism towards COVID-19 vaccine in the state despite government’s efforts in educating and sensitising them.
Mohammed lamented that the skepticism has made people not to come out to take the vaccine, decrying a situation whereby 2,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were sent to one of the local government areas in the state but only paltry 30 were administered as people refused to accept it.
He stated this while giving an update on the vaccination situation in the state at a one-day media orientation on the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Bauchi State, held at the Polio Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Bauchi.
While disclosing that the state recently received additional supply of AstraZeneca vaccine, which was distributed across the state, Mohammed condemned the situation whereby influential persons tried to induce health workers with money to fill vaccination cards for them without taking the vaccine.
“One of our health workers who took the doses there reported that some of the well to do members of the community are trying to induce them with money just to fill the vaccination cards for them instead of taking the jabs. But the good thing is that she refused to listen to them.
“Some dignitaries are sending messages from Abuja to our health workers to get the vaccination cards across to them without taking the jabs. We will not allow that in the state; everybody must take the jab before getting the cards,” the executive chairman declared.
He added that the state government was not happy with the development and had since directed the Agency to do everything possible in terms of sensitising the people to accept the vaccine.
“The COVID-19 Taskforce Chairman, Senator Baba Tela, is saddened by the turn of event and has directed us to immediately take actions and ensure that everything possible was done to sensitize the people to accept the vaccination,” Dr Mohammed said.
He attributed people’s rejection of the vaccine to the various misconception about its potency, assuring, however, that the vaccine passed through rigorous processes before its approval by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for public use.
The BASPHCDA boss then appealed to community and religious leaders to educate their followers on the need to take the vaccination, declaring that the vaccine has over 90 per cent protection potency against the deadly pandemic.
Meanwhile, Dr Mohammed has tasked the media to use its influence to make people accept the vaccine in the State.
According to him, “the media have a significant impact on the success of the vaccination exercise. Your education, information and sensitization efforts will make people understand everything about the exercise. The media is a powerful tool to get the vaccination accepted.”