COVID-19: FCTA commences Vaccination of Abuja Journalists
By Ben Adoga
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Thursday commenced the vaccination of members of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), FCT Chapter, with a view to enhance public confidence on the vaccine.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, who inaugurated the exercise, at the NUJ Secretariat in Utako, said the Administration considered it necessary to vaccinate journalists because they are indeed part of the frontline workers.
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategic Communications, Malam Abubakar Sani, Bello noted that the vaccination of journalists would serve as living testimony to some Nigerians who are skeptical about it.
According to the minister, the vaccine is a normal routine vaccine to help boost immune system to protect people from contracting COVID-19 virus.
“We consider it necessary to initiate this process of vaccinating members of the fourth estate of the realm because journalists are indeed frontline workers. The FCT Administration consider the relationship between the NUJ and the Administration as a very productive and strong.
“It is in the realisation of the fact that journalists who reports day-to-day activities that are happening in the society are exposed to the dangers of COVID-19. Some of them even go to the COVID-19 Treatment and Isolation centres to get testimonies from people infected with the COVID-19 virus,” Bello said.
The Acting Secretary, FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Kawu Mohammed, noted that partnership with media professionals was a collaboration that every service provider required.
Responding, the FCT NUJ Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche, said vaccination of journalists would speak more than any advocacy carried out by the government before. “Because journalists will attest if the vaccine have any side effects, understand what the issues are and give feedback to the public.”
He revealed that over 120 journalists in Abuja registered to take the vaccine, adding that more journalists would be turning out for the exercise.
Ogbeche used the occasion to thanked the minister for all his support to FCT NUJ, saying” we hope that together we can fight COVID-19.”
The highpoint of the exercise was the administration of COVID-19 vaccine to the FCT NUJ Chairman, Ogbeche and the Chairperson of NAWOJ, Ann Daniel and other journalists from various media organisations in the territory.