Olorunnibe Mamora, minister of state for health, says the federal government will not force anyone to take the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Mamora stated this while speaking with journalists on Friday, shortly after he inaugurated some projects at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba in Delta state.
He added that the federal government can only appeal to those who are unwilling to take the vaccine.
The minister also spoke on why Kogi is yet to take delivery of the vaccine, noting the state lacks storage facilities.
“Kogi lacked storage facilities for cold chain, security, logistics, and personnel to administer the vaccines,” he said.
“Also, let me state clearly here that from the onset, the federal government made it clear that it will not force anyone to take the vaccine, but rather, will continue to appeal to people in their own interest.
“Aside that, in Kogi, one of the reasons the vaccine has not been sent there is because during the #EndSARS crisis, some of their facilities were violently destroyed.
“So, as we speak, Kogi does not even have the facilities for storage to maintain the cold chain. So, that is the reason the state has not been supplied.”
Faisal Shuaib, the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), had said the only state which has not received its batch of the vaccine is Kogi.
“All states except Kogi have received their vaccine. Kogi state is yet to receive due to the non-repair of their cold-chain store, coupled with the state’s concerns around the contradictory information about the vaccine,” he had said.
Meanwhile, Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, had said he does not need the vaccine, and would not turn his people to “guinea pigs”.
He had, however, said the state will embark on sensitisation programmes, and administer the vaccine to interested persons.