By Franca Ofili
The Nigerian Red Cross Society has advised Nigerians to get the COVID-19 vaccination as it was the only key to ending the pandemic.
Mr Bhupinder Tomar, Head of Abuja Country cluster Delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies gave the advice in Abuja.
According to him, getting vaccinated will help protect people from contracting COVID-19.
Tomar spoke after a road walk to raise awareness on the need to get vaccinated against COVID-19 which had witnessed some resistance.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there “can be no other bigger issues than convincing people around us to get vaccinated.
“We have lost two years of our lives to this disease and the only way we can come out of this, is for all of us to educate our sisters, brothers, parents on the need to get vaccinated and be healthy.
“This is because we are part of the community, we can educate ourselves and others,’’ Tomar said.
He said that the biggest reason why people were hesitant to receive the vaccine was because of fear and wrong information.
Tomar said it was necessary to give the right information to the public that the vaccine was safe and everyone should get vaccinated as a way to end the pandemic.
He called on stakeholders to make the vaccine available in the communities and those that were ready to receive the vaccine.
In her remarks, Udoh Ibanga, Assistant Coordinator Health and Care Department of the society, said that the road walk was to create awareness on the need for people to be vaccinated.
“The social mobilisation on road walk is to educate people so that they can get vaccinated and create demand for vaccine availability.
“We are already doing house-to-house awareness to tell the people to go and take the vaccine and that it is safe and directing them where to get the vaccine.
“This sensitisation will also be done in five states, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kano, Akwa Ibom, Oyo and Rivers,’’ Ibanga said.
She said that the road show was targeted at people that were usually not at home, especially in markets and parks.
“We are also targeting the people in the rural communities in the FCT and hard to reach areas as some of them don’t know that the vaccination is ongoing and while some don’t know where to get the vaccine.
“Our volunteers are doing house-to- house vaccination to clear the misconceptions against the vaccine,’’ she said.
According to reports, Nigeria has so far vaccinated about eight million people out of a population of more than 200 million. (NAN)