Two southern Nigerian state governments instructed their populations to get inoculated against the coronavirus or be banned from religious services and public places, while federal authorities suggested they are considering restrictions to tackle vaccine hesitancy.
Large gatherings, places of worship and banks will only be accessible to those with proof that they have received at least one Covid-19 shot from mid-September. Just 150,000 of the 10-million residents of Edo and Ondo have had a vaccine so far, though the inoculation rate has picked up, with more than 60,000 shots given on Monday.
Even if the two states can pin down adequate vaccines and distribution accelerates further, the measures will be disruptive. A federal court has ordered Obaseki’s administration to put the curbs on hold while it considers an objection from an Edo resident, and adjourned the case until September 10. Osaigbovo Iyoha, Obaseki’s chief of staff, said efforts to obtain and dispense vaccines “will be redoubled on all fronts”.
Dozens of people bearing placards with slogans such as “Say no to forceful vaccination” and “We are not guinea pigs”, staged a march in Benin City, Edo’s capital,