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  Following criticisms that erupted after media reports revealed that starting from December 1, 2021, government workers without proof of COVID-19 vaccination will not be allowed entrance into their offices, the federal government has moved to clarify its stance on vaccination, debunking media reports.
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Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said vaccination is not compulsory for civil workers, rather they are expected to show negative COVID-19 PCR test results (not more than 72 hours) if they will not be vaccinated. The health official disclosed that the government took the decision to ensure a safe and productive working space for government workers.
‘The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), on Wednesday, announced interventions to, not only protect the most vulnerable people in our society, but to also ensure that the workplace is safe for all citizens. Clearly, there is loss of productivity and its impact on socio-economic development when workers are unable to come to work on a regular, and consistent basis due to outbreaks of an infectious disease such as COVID-19.’ Dr. Faisal Shuaib

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Speaking further, Dr Shuaib revealed that the presidential steering committee on COVID-19 took the decision based on advice from public health experts and noted that the choice of vaccination or negative COVID-19 result is applicable to all employees of the federal government.
‘Following advice by public health experts, the PSC announced that all Federal Government employees should make a choice as to how they can contribute towards making the work environment COVID-19-free.  The logical choice is between taking the vaccine and showing the evidence or presenting proof that one is COVID-19-free by showing a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior. This provision is applicable to all Federal Government institutions. The decision to release the advisory was not taken lightly. It is part of the PSC and Federal Ministry of Health’s mantra to always use scientific evidence to make decisions for the benefit of all Nigerians.’ Dr. Shuaib
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This article was first published on 18th October 2021


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