WHO allays fears of global recognition of COVID-19 vaccine cardholders

The World Health Organization has assured that discussions are ongoing to ensure that measures reportedly recognizing certain COVID-19 vaccines as permitted in some European countries do not apply to Nigeria.

Faith Ireye, Edo State coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO), gave the assurance on Friday in Benin City while reacting to speculations that the vaccination cards given in Nigeria will not be certified outside the shores of the country.

“Yes, we have seen it and heard of it. Something is being done about it and it can not apply to us. Analysis has been carried globally, and WHO has said Nigeria is among the best responders to COVID-19 in the world”, Ireye said.

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Pius Ononigwe, representative of Africa Centre for Disease Control in Edo State, on his part, said the issue is currently being discussed at the United Nations General Assembly.

“The African region of the WHO and the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also discussed it. As of yesterday, the commitment we are getting is that it will not apply to Nigeria but discussions are ongoing.

“This is because all the vaccines we are using received emergency use listing from WHO, which were brought from the Europe and America. There is no difference, and we have also demonstrated our capacity to deploy these vaccines considering the fact that we have a lot of strengths in terms of our success in polio and measles immunization.

“Those measures are actually being put in place to make sure it doesn’t apply to Nigeria”, Ononigwe added.

Earlier, Osamwonyi Irowa, permanent secretary, Edo state ministry of health, said the ongoing enforcement on “no vaccine card, no entry to government offices,” will soon be extended to other public settings, including churches.

“We don’t have the luxury of law enforcement agents who will be everywhere at the same time where other things are there for them to do. So, we are phasing it and after now, we will go to the next level such as public spaces of all types,” Irowa said.

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