This story was culled from Daily Trust Newspaper:
The Jigawa State government yesterday said it will prosecute parents who reject the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) for their children in the ongoing immunisation exercise in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Abubakar Tafida, told newsmen that defaulters will be sentenced to between six months and one year imprisonment without an option of fine.
Tafida said this at the beginning of the October round of Immunisation Plus Days (IPDs) exercise in Dutse. He said that the state House of Assembly had enacted a law which was assented to by the governor to deal with “anybody who rejects the vaccine and also to promote participation in the exercise.”
“The assembly has enacted a law to punish those who reject polio vaccination which will be enforced during the ongoing immunisation exercise,” Tafida said.
He said that the state had also adopted effective campaign measures to sensitise communities on the importance of presenting their wards for vaccination and also mobilise participation in the exercise.
“Oral polio vaccine was administered to my sons, the children of the deputy governor and the speaker. It is a deliberate attempt to correct the wrong misconception about the vaccine.
“This is to show to people that the vaccine is not harmful,” he added.
In his remark, the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Sunusi, appealed to parents in the state to present their children for immunisation. Sunusi said the emirate council had directed district, village and ward heads to monitor the exercise in their respective wards.
“Parents have no reason to reject the vaccine. We must contribute to ensure total eradication of the disease,” Sunusi said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Emir led a team of vaccinators and personally administered oral polio vaccine to children of the state Deputy Governor, Ahmed Muhammad, and the Speaker, Alhaji Adamu Ahmad.
More than 1.3 million children are targeted in the ongoing immunisation exercise across the 27 local government areas of the state.