Two southern Nigerian state governments directed their populations to vaccinate against the coronavirus or ban religious services and public places, while federal officials suggested they consider restrictions to combat vaccine hesitation. are.
Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki said last week that large gatherings, places of worship and banks would be accessible only to people who have received at least one COVID-19 shot since mid-September. On 30 August, the leaders of neighboring Ondo announced that only those who were vaccinated could enter churches, mosques, hospitals, government offices and other public places after a two-week grace period. Nigeria consists of 36 states and the capital Abuja.
Of the approximately 10 million residents of Edo and Ondo, only 150,000 have yet to have a vaccine, although vaccination rates have increased recently, with more than 60,000 shots issued as of 30 August. Even if both states could produce enough vaccines and distribution would further accelerate, the measures would be highly disruptive.
A federal court has ordered Obaseki’s administration to stop it when it considers an Edo resident’s objection, and adjourned the case until September 10. Obaseki’s chief of staff Osagabowo Ioha said efforts to obtain and dispense vaccines “will be” doubled on all fronts.
On August 30, dozens of people held a march in Edo’s capital Benin City carrying placards with slogans such as “Say no to forced vaccinations,” and “We are not guinea pigs.”
The federal government of Nigeria aims to vaccinate the adult population of approximately 110 million over the next two years. So far, only 8.7 million doses of two-shot vaccines have been delivered in the country, and less than 3 million citizens have received at least one shot.
As soon as shots are made available “equally to all Nigerians, we will need to have a frank discussion about the justice, fairness and freedoms that exist around vaccine hesitation,” says the National Primary Health Care Development Agency. Executive Director Faisal Shuaib said. on Tuesday. If people choose to reject the shots, “we have to apply the basic rule of law that stipulates that your human rights stop where mine begins,” he said.
Nigeria has about 190,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 2,500 deaths, although true figures are likely to be higher due to the low testing rate. The West African nation is currently experiencing a third wave of infections, which has intensified since the delta variant was detected in July.