Hundreds of federal civil officials, particularly in Abuja’s Federal Capital Territory, are rushing to hospitals and approved vaccination centers to get the COVID-19 vaccines before the December 1 deadline for them to be barred from their jobs.
This comes in the aftermath of the devastating effects of another COVID-19 version known as Omicron, which has put the world on high alert as many countries consider closing their borders and restricting mobility, according to Daily Trust.
Workers who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine will be denied entrance to government offices beginning tomorrow, December 1, 2021, according to the federal government.
Hundreds of public servants were in a last-minute rush to acquire the vaccine in Abuja, according to Daily Trust, as many centers reported a large influx of civil servants.
Many individuals were hurrying to get vaccinated, according to an unnamed source at the Federal Secretariat vaccination center.
“So far, we have been able to vaccinate dozens of civil servants and their family members with the Astrazeneca and Modena today. Also, we have been able to administer the second round of the COVID-19 vaccine to many people today. The second jab is administered eight weeks after the first jab,” the health worker said.
“It will be difficult to tell you the exact number of civil servants…It will not be easy because of ongoing replacements, new recruitments, deaths and all that. So, I don’t think if you will get the exact number of civil servants that have been vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said.
Also, the Director Communication, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHoCSF), Malam Abdulganiyu Aminu, said they could not be specific on the actual number of civil servants vaccinated, especially for the fact that the exercise was ongoing.
In an interview, he said, “But reports reaching us from the various vaccination centres are encouraging. Many civil servants are responding to the call to get vaccinated.”
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaibu, had said that as of November 26, a total of 6,242,224 Nigerians had received the first dose of COVID-19.
He also said 3,487,298 Nigerians had received their second dose and therefore fully vaccinated.
This meant only 1.7 per cent of the total population target of 111,776,503 has been vaccinated.
The federal government had last Friday ordered federal workers from Grade Level 12 and below to resume normal duty effective from Wednesday, December 1.
Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), issued the directive in a circular dated November 26, 2021 with the reference number HCSF/3065/Vol.1/107.
Officers on GL 12 and below were required to work from home as part of the COVID-19 Pandemic containment procedures, she recalled.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on the other hand, has signed the Vaccine Mandate Policy, which requires all federal government employees to provide confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination.
Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, had also declared that all federal employees would be prevented from working beginning December 1 unless they could provide proof of coronavirus vaccination.
Some federal employees voiced conflicting sentiments about the situation on Monday.
While some believed it was excellent that the government made the COVID-19 immunization mandatory in the national interest, others said it infringed on their constitutional rights.
“I am happy that the government has made it mandatory for workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” a worker with the ministry of power, said.
“It is sad that we don’t trust our government because from the look of things, millions of Nigerians are not willing to take the jab and this is dangerous.
“Look at how the variant is mutating. Look at the Omicron that is ravaging the world. Government must deploy all the resources it has to ensure that all Nigerians are vaccinated not only civil servants. The civil servants are a fraction of the over 200m people in the country. It is saddening that up till now less than 2 per cent have been vaccinated. We are sitting on a time bomb,” he said.