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No less than seven intending Christian pilgrims from Bauchi State have been prevented from embarking on holy pilgrimage to Israel due to their refusal to be vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine, even as 18 dons from two universities in the state have volunteered to take doses of the vaccine, according to SaharaReporters.

The Executive Chairman of the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed while speaking with journalists in Bauchi on Friday.

Mohammed had decried the skepticism showed by the people of the state towards the COVID-19 vaccination, adding that some who did not take the vaccine wanted to be issued with vaccination cards, an act he warned against.

He added that the fact that the intending Christian pilgrims could not make the trip to the holy land was an indication that the world was taking the issue of vaccination for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

He said in the nearest future, evidence of being vaccinated would become part of the new normal not only in the country but all over the world.

The BASPHCDA boss informed that as soon as the state rolls out the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination, 17 professors from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi and another don from the Bauchi State University, Gadau, came forward to take the vaccine.

“Immediately they heard that we had got supply of vaccine, they quickly came to the agency to take their jabs. The reason was that they wanted to travel out of the country but were refused travelling documents.

“So, they had to come back to take it. Another person came from the State University in Gadau to take the vaccination. You can see how important it is,” Dr Mohammed asserted.

Speaking on the need for increased enlightenment and awareness campaign, Mohammed urged the media in the state to join in educating people about the need to get the vaccine, adding that the media also need to disabuse people’s minds on the misconceptions and misinformation they have about the vaccine.

He decried a situation where media professionals who ought to be in the forefront of the campaign against the spread of COVID-19 are not doing enough in terms of being trained.

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