Prof. Bissallah Ekele, the Chief Medical Director, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) Gwagwalada, has urged Nigerians and all targeted ages to embrace the COVID-19 vaccination as directed.

Ekele gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the 24th of March 2021 in Gwagwalada, shortly after one year anniversary for managing COVID-19 in the hospital.

The CMD urged the entire population to shun the notion that there is no COVID-19 in Nigeria, adding that there was need to be very careful of one’s health status to help prevent the spread of the virus. According to him, no health worker has been lost ever since the facility was turned into an isolation and treatment centre for the COVID-19 pandemic in the hospital.

“We are not out of the woods yet, so it is reasonable to add whatever that needs to be added to prevent an individual from contacting this disease.

“The vaccination is one of such measures apart from wearing of face masks, maintaining hygiene and social distancing.

“Fortunately for Nigeria, the highest political will has been shown, the President, the Vice President and ministers have taken the vaccine all we need to do is emulate our leaders because the disease is real.

“I mean once in a while people will complain of pain in the arm but I say who will not have pains even if it is mosquito bites,” he stressed.

According to him, stories in the social media that people who received the vaccine are collapsing and dying is not real, that is to say that the number of our health workers that took the vaccine increases daily.

“Fortunately for us again in our hospital we have a thousand doses and almost 60 per cent of our health workers have received the vaccine without any effects.

“I will advise that after health workers, it is time for the vaccination to be rolled out to members of the public.

“The public should take advantage of it so that we can all be protected, live to cater for our children and develop the country,” he said.

He said that the anniversary was aimed at celebrating the frontline health workers including doctors, nurses, hygienists, and other staffs of the hospital, who volunteered to be part of the COVID-19 treatment team.

Against speculations on social media that the COVID-19 vaccine has negative effects, he reassured of its safety, stressing that there was need for all to adhere to safety measures in order to effectively control spread of the virus.

“I am impressed with the performance of our health workers, who came from different units of the hospital and all of them are senior health workers comprising, doctors, nurses, Lab scientists, hygienists among others.

“The outcome of patients we have managed have given us consolation that the sacrifice is worth it because most of the patients came out in good health,” he said.

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