The Federal Government has announced that it is working to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory, starting with employees in the public service.
It noted that although the process will be gradual, it will make sure that vaccines are made available and accessible to all before implementing the protocol.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, made these known during a conference by the Forum of Health Commissioners in Nigeria, in Abuja.
He 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 traveling 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 US unless you are vaccinated, and we have not provided vaccinations 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 vaccine so we will not be able to impose those kinds of mandates on an automatic basis; it has to take some time and we will make sure that the vaccines are available and are deployed to the appropriate places and people will have the opportunity of getting the vaccines before we now impose the mandatory nature of whether you have vaccines or not before you can access government facilities,” he said.