Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora, has said the Federal Government won’t force any state to accept COVID-19 vaccines.
He stated this on Tuesday while featuring on a PUNCH Live interview.
Mamora was reacting to a statement by the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, that he won’t take the vaccines, adding that residents of his state are not “guinea pigs”.
Nigeria rolled out its vaccination programme against the lethal coronavirus infection on Friday with about four million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were vaccinated against the virus on Saturday on live TV to demonstrate the safety of the vaccine. State governors have also started taking the vaccines to boost the confidence of their citizens to receive the vaccines.
Asked on Tuesday whether the Federal Government would give the vaccines to Kogi State given what the governor had said, the minister said, “We have to weigh all that is involved. We are not going to compel anyone to take the vaccines. We are also conscious of the fact that even as at now, we don’t have enough vaccines.
“So, in essence, if a state through the governor or through any other person in that position says that we don’t want the vaccines in their states, we will not force that.
“Our priority will go to states that are willing and are ready and have even made request to hav e the vaccines. Even the Bible says, ‘Ask and it shall be given’. We will give to those states that have requested for it. If a state decides not to ask for it, we are not going to compel such a state to ask for it.”