Labour Matters

AstraZeneca Vaccine: MHWUN President takes 1st jab, urges health workers to get vaccinated

By Appolos Christian 

The president of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, has urge Nigerians, especially, health workers in the country to make themselves available for the ongoing AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination. 

MHWUN President further said vaccination is the only assured and available way of protecting health workers who are frontlines in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. 

Comrade Josiah who is also the Chairman of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), spoke to journalists after he took the first jab of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at MHWUN headquarters in Abuja, and he said that health workers having lost many personnel across the world need to protect themselves by getting vaccinated, since they are the all important soldiers to winning the fight against the pandemic.

“I have just taken by jab of the  and I feel good. Certainly I have come to take this to tell all health workers especially members of JOHESU that it is not harmful to anybody. 

“Initially the fear was the vaccine was made specifically to depopulate Africa and all other conspiracy theories. But we are witnesses to the fact that the Europeans have used themselves as the guinea pig so what’s the reason for fear. We should come out and take the first and second jab so we can be 100 percent clear.

“We are health workers, we are science based people so we also know and we have been interacting with our counterparts elsewhere in the world. I want to appeal to all Nigerians that  is having any negativity thought or fear against the vaccine should not. Obviously, nearly one million  Americans will not be lining up to take the vaccine if it is dangerous to health.”

Furthermore, he said; “I know there are grievances that from the onset of Covid-19  majority of our members were discriminated against that they are not health workers and today vaccines came and they said we are health workers. 

“But the bottom line is, even if we have to agitate we need to be alive. So am calling on everybody and I have sent advisories and been talking to our people and I think the anger is being doused and I believe with them seeing me taking this, I am sure and know health workers are not too skeptical taking this conspiracy theories that are bound.

“We have millions of health workers across all levels; federal, state and primary level and they all need to be protected so they can go out and attend to the Nigerian population.”

Meanwhile, Director Advocacy and Communication for Covid-19 vaccine, Eunice Damisah, said: “Nigerians have embraced the vaccine though like very other society/ country, there are few skeptics but the more we vaccinate the more people have come out to demand for the vaccine.

“The vaccine is very safe. It is approved by WHO the global authority of health and NAFDAC which is our regulatory agency has certified the vaccine safe for use. So there is no reason for anyone to be scared, the vaccine is very safe. 

“The government has laid down a plan to vaccinate 70% of the eligible population to ensure herd immunity. All eligible Nigerians; 18 years and above should access the vaccination sites when it is their turn to be protected.”

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