The Nigerian government on Thursday declared COVID-19 immunization mandatory for civil employees and set a deadline for anyone who is not fully inoculated to be barred from working.
Boss Mustapha, the federal secretary and chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, said in a statement that workers who do not produce proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus result would be prohibited from government offices beginning December 1.
Only 2.17 million people in the Western African country are fully immunized, implying that only over 1% of the overall population has received double doses of COVID-19 vaccines. So far, the country has administered 7.3 million doses to its people.
COVID-19 has infected 208,404 people so far, according to Worldometer data, with 196,123 persons recovered and 2,761 deaths.
Fears and apprehensions have been expressed by government employees after the new directives, who are now hurrying to get vaccinated before the deadline.
Joseph Micheal, a staff member with the Federal Ministry of Aviation, said, “I'm just vaccinated to avoid having trouble in my working place.” He urged his coworkers who have not yet been vaccinated to quickly register and get vaccinated.
"I have yet to be vaccinated," said Ngozi Edwar Auta, an employee of the Information Ministry. “I'm afraid of the vaccine, but I have no choice but to get it in order to prevent embarrassment at work," she added.
She argued, "Health matters are personal and this violates my fundamental rights as a citizen. I have a right to my health, but why is the government forcing us to do something that we are afraid of?"