By Hassan Zaggi
The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC), Dr. Ayuba Wabba, has advised workers to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccines and keep themselves, their families and their colleagues at work safe and free from the morbid threats of the Corona pandemic.
He gave the advice at a media briefing in Abuja, Monday.
He, however, called on the federal government to, rather than use coercion, toe the path of persuasion and conviction for the general public including workers to accept the vaccine.
“I urge workers all over the world to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccines and keep themselves, their families and their colleagues at work safe and free from the morbid threats of the Corona pandemic.
“We urge that the tool of persuasion and conviction be used rather than force to get workers and the general populace to take the vaccine,” Waba said.
While noting that many workers across the world had lost their source of livelihood and lives to the COVID-19, Waba said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought some of the biggest strains, stress and squeeze to the workplace. Thousands of workers died. Many of the dead from global workforce were frontline workers.
“As at the third week of October 2021, more than 180,000 health workers world over had lost their lives to COVID-19. The high rate of fatality is unfortunate but also highlights the sacrifice that workers had made in containing and combating this deadly virus. Many more workers had their jobs and means of livelihood to COVID-19.
“The biggest lesson of the pandemic is that amidst the worst crisis, the human race can rise to the challenge with great resourcefulness and resilience.
“Apart from accelerated scientific efforts at understanding the epidemiology of the virus, science has raised the bar a little higher with the breakthrough discovery of a vaccine for COVID-19 which has helped reduce the death rate and hospital admissions.
“A study conducted by the United States Centre for Disease Control at the end of May 2021 shows that there was about 63% drop in hospital visitations after the introduction of the COM-19 vaccine. There was also a 63% drop in hospital admissions post-vaccination and 66% drop in mortality for those aged 18 – 49 after the vaccination.
“Understand some people prefer to view COVID-19 vaccination with caution. Yes, it is important to proceed on issues of public health with great caution. Yet, it would be foolhardy to elevate caution above scientific evidence and facts from public health records”.
“The truth is that despite being imperfect, the COVID-19 Vaccine has given all of us a better chance of fighting the virus and staying alive.