By Ahmed Ahmed
The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has lamented that the absence of vaccination spots at worship centres was causing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bauchi State and other parts of Nigeria.
Mr. Hamza Ibrahim, the coordinator, Public Education on COVID-19 Vaccine Project (CITAD), disclosed this to journalists in Bauchi on Thursday.
He said that CITAD with support from MacArthur Foundation was implementing a “Public Education on COVID-19 Vaccine” in six states of the north.
“The states are Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kogi, Kano and Plateau. The project is aimed at creating awareness around COVID-19 vaccine with a view to getting acceptance and uptake of the vaccine by people.”
He also said that there was the need for vaccination spots at gathering places such as Mosques, churches, and banks.
His words: “We have identified, no doubt, hindrances to the COVID-19 vaccine uptake. The identified challenges if not addressed quickly will reinforce the misconception and fake news in circulation about the vaccine.
“That will sabotage the efforts geared towards containing the virus and addressing the pandemic in general.”
He also lamented that vaccine administrators demand data payment from people who want to get vaccinated to upload their details on the online national register.
Ibrahim added that lack of will from top government officials further reinforces negative impression people have on the vaccine.
The coordinator however appealed to Kogi State governor to immediately stop “pay to get vaccinated” by providing data and other forms of support for vaccine administrators in the state.
He called on the state governors concerned to urgently address the problems identified.
Ibrahim also urged the state government to examine the vaccination channel in their separate states to have a broader view of the identified problems, other and deploy the needed mechanisms.
He also urged the public to disregard misconceptions and false narratives around COVID-19 and to get vaccinated.
The coordinator also appealed to State Primary Healthcare Development Agencies in the six states to review their operation manual to ensure proper coordination for effective vaccination exercise.