Vaccination mandatory for pilgrims henceforth, says FG

The Federal Government has stated that COVID-19 vaccination is now compulsory for pilgrims to the holy cities of Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem.

It urged adherents of both Islam and Christianity to get vaccinated to avoid any delay or cancellation in the future as some countries have made vaccination a requirement to gain access to their countries.

Speaking during a joint briefing by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), in Abuja, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib said: “As at August 30, 2021, Nigeria has so far vaccinated 2,897,201 and 1,430,379 eligible persons with 1st and 2nd doses respectively across the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory.

“Those who received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine before July 8, 2021 should go and get their second dose to be fully protected against all strains of the Coronavirus.

“At this juncture, I would like to remind all Nigerians that evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 is now mandatory for all pilgrims to the holy cities of Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem.

“I therefore urge adherents of both religions who are planning to perform pilgrimage next year or in the future, to get vaccinated now to avoid any delays.

“This is also to bring to our attention that as the COVID-19 vaccines become available worldwide, some countries have made vaccination a requirement to gain access to their country.”

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