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Ignore Conspiracy Theories, Take COVID-19 Vaccine, JOHESU Begs Health Workers

By Our Reporter

The President, Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), Josiah Biobelemoye, has appealed to health workers in the country to dispel various conspiracy theories against the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and come out en masse to get the much needed protection against coronavirus, by getting vaccinated.

Biobelemoye who doubles as President, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), made the appeal on Wednesday in Abuja, while receiving his first jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He appealed to the health workers to consider their safety first before any existing acrimony or the various conspiracy theories making the rounds in the country and African region, while assuring that the vaccine was safe, adding that he felt no sign of side effects after taking the jab.

He said: “I have just taken my jab of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and I feel good. I have come to take this to tell all health workers especially members of JOHESU that it is not harmful to anybody.

“I know their area of grievances that from the onset of COVID, majority of my members were discriminated against that they are not health workers and today vaccines came and they said we are health workers.

“They are saying when it comes to butter and bread, naira and kobo we are discriminated against but the bottom line is even if we have to agitate we need to be alive so am calling on everybody, I have sent advisories, I have been talking to our people and I think the anger is being doused.

“We are health workers, we are science based and we have been interacting with our counterparts elsewhere in the world. I want to appeal to all Nigerians that if this is having any negativity, certainly, nearly one million Americans will not be lining out to take this.

“Initially the fear was the vaccine was made specifically to depopulate Africa and all the conspiracy theories but we are witnesses to the fact that the Europeans have used themselves as the guinea pug 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 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,” he said.

On sanctions for members who refuse the vaccination, Biobelemoye disclosed that although no health worker was being compelled to take the vaccine, “we will appeal to the conscience of everybody as a health worker, you need to be safe, you need to be healthy to dispense health to those who need it.”

Officials of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), were on ground to supervise the seamless vaccination process of the leadership of the health workers union in the country.

Director, Advocacy and Communication of the NPHCDA, Eunice Damisah, who reiterated the safety of the vaccine, said as the day goes by, more Nigerians within the first priority areas, were embracing and coming out to get vaccinated

“The leadership of the Nigerian health workers has. Appreciated the need for this vaccination so we are here physically to ensure that he gets the vaccine.

“Nigerians have embraced it tho like very other society there are few skeptics but the more we vaccinate, the more people we have coming out to demand for the vaccine,” she added.

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