COVID-19: The Jab or Your Job

….Edo Govt Reads Riot Act to Vaccine-Resisting Public Servants

With effect from September 15, 2021 when implementation of compulsory vaccination for all residents of Edo State would come into force, the state government on Thursday told its teachers, health workers and other public servants, to choose between taking the jab or losing their jobs.

Reading out the riot act to teachers and health workers in the state, the government said any health worker who refused to be vaccinated would not be allowed to attend to any patient, while such teachers would also not be allowed to teach the children.

It also advised other public servants to get themselves vaccinated with at least a dose of the available vaccines or they might be prevented from performing their official duties.

Briefing journalists on COVID-19 update in Benin City, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Osamwonyi Irowa, said the duty of the state government is to protect the public and if workers under the government payroll continued to resist taking the vaccine, then they would need to decide “whether they want to go to work or work from home”.

Irowa reiterated that once the enforcement of COVID-19 vaccination started by September 15, those unvaccinated workers would not be allowed to enter government offices”.

According to him, “The State government is giving a period of grace till middle of this month to start maximum enforcement and we are starting with our home, that is, workers in government facilities, including teachers, health workers, will be made to comply based on whether they want to continue working or not.

“Teachers are more at risk to COVID-19 than the children and we don’t want them to infect the children they are teaching who will in turn take it home to their parents. The teachers who are not vaccinated are taking chances and we know they have their rights and we are not going to compel them; but if you aren’t vaccinated, you can’t teach our kids.

“So, the government is coming out clearly on enforcement of all the preventive measures, including vaccination and non-Pharmaceutical Interventions. Those who do not perform these cannot come into the domain of government properties”.

Irowa further stated that “Health workers are not free from COVID-19 and we have been infected. The rules that will be enforced in Edo State will also apply to health workers and not just teachers and civil servants. Health workers who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to treat other people in Edo State because you may infect your patients”.

Also speaking at the briefing, Pius Ononigwe, representative of Africa Centre for Disease Control in Edo State, said 93,000 people had gotten at least a dose of COVID-19 vaccines, representing two percent of the estimated 4.6 million population of the state.

Ebomwonyi Osagie, Team Lead, State’s COVID-19 Case Management, on his part, said that the state had confirmed 49 news cases, discharged 15 persons and recorded three news deaths in the last 24 hours.

Ebomwonyi added that the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the third wave had risen to 33 comprising, 22 male and 11 female.

COVID-19 Vaccine Photo
COVID-19 Vaccine Photo

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