FG – we will not force anyone to take the vaccine, but rather will continue to appeal

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Dr Olorunnibe Mamora, the Minister of State for Health, has said that the Federal Government will appeal, rather than force anyone to take the Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccines for COVID-19.

Mamora disclosed this in Asaba at the weekend while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after he inaugurated some projects at the Federal Medical Cen­tre (FMC), Asaba.

His comment followed a reporter’s question on why Kogi was yet to take delivery of the vaccine, while most states in the federation had received theirs.

Also, let me state clearly here that from the onset, the Federal Government made it clear that it will not force anyone to take the vaccine, but rather will continue to appeal to people in their own interests.

“Aside that, in Kogi, that you mentioned specifically, one of the reasons the vac­cine has not been sent there is because during the #End­SARS crisis, some of their facilities were violently de­stroyed.

“So, as we speak, Kogi does not even have the fa­cilities for storage to main­tain the cold chain. So, that is the reason the state has not been supplied,” he said.
The minister stated that the Federal Government had given conditions to the states, to ensure readiness in terms of cold chain facil­ity, logistics, security and personnel to administer the vaccine, before they could be supplied.

On the suspension of the vaccine in some European countries, Mamora said it might be political, insisting that the Oxford AstraZene­ca vaccine was safe and ef­ficient.

He said: “One thing I will say as a personal opinion which I am not afraid to express is I won’t be sur­prised if politics is involved because of Brexit and what have you.

“But that is not the most important thing, the most important thing is that even the European Medi­cine Agency has come out to say the vaccine is safe and efficient. That is the most important thing.

“If you have given close to 20 million vaccinations and you have maybe less than 20,000, what percent­age of the over 20 million is the 20,000? That is infinitesi­mal’’, the minister said.

Mamora further noted that every drug was a po­tential poison, saying that “when you give a drug or a vaccine, it is because you have weighed the therapeu­tic advantages against the side effects.

“If the balance tilts in fa­vour of the advantage, you will go for it as a clinician or medical doctor, adding that it’s the situation with the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Mamora said

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