COVID-19: NLC urges FG not to force workers to get vaccinated

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Federal Government to engage persuasion instead of force to get citizens vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and International Trade Union Confederation, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, made this known on Monday in Abuja, during a briefing on Federal Government COVID-19 Vaccination Advisory for the Federal Civil Servants.

This is in reaction to a December 1st deadline set by the federal government deadline for civil servants to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Speaking at the briefing, Wabba said while the vaccine remains the only chance for Nigerians to fight the pandemic and guarantee safety of their lives, the government must ensure that workers can get vaccinated at their workplaces.

He 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 the global workforce were frontline workers. As of the third week of October 2021, more than 180,000 health workers world over had lost their lives to COVID-19.

“A study conducted by the United States Centre for Disease Control at the end of May 2021 shows that there was about 63 per cent drop in hospital visitations after the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There was also a 63 per cent drop in hospital admissions post vaccination and 66 per cent drop in mortality for those aged 18 to 49 after the vaccination.

“I 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. 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 the government and other employers of labour to make special arrangements for workers to access the vaccine at the workplace.

“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.”

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