ECOWAS Parliament Speaker urges citizens to take COVID-19 vaccine
By Adoba Echono
The Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Dr Sidie Mohammed Tunis, has urged community citizens to take the COVID-19 vaccines and shun all forms of conspiracy theories as vaccines are very safe.
The Speaker of the Community Parliament made the call on Monday during a Winneba in Ghana at the opening of the Second Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament to consider and adopt the Parliament’s Draft Budget for the year 2022.
Dr Tunis said that the call for the citizens to get vaccinated is coming as cases continue to surge across the sub-region.
“As it stands, the third wave of the pandemic seems to be stabilizing across our States, but cases are still high with the West African Health Organization (WAHO) reporting a total of 649,077 cases across the region as of 14th October, 2021.
“On the vaccine front, more doses are getting into arms daily.
“We seize this moment to appreciate our partners under the COVAX initiative and friendly Governments that have donated doses to African Countries.
“However, the percentage of African population fully vaccinated, which is a little over 2.47%, according to the Africa Center for Disease Control, is appallingly low, compared to those unvaccinated.
“Much as the unavailability of the vaccine is an issue to consider, we also frown at the conspiracy theories that have created fear of the vaccines in our population.
“I therefore, wish to use this podium, as I have always done, to send a clear message to our citizens that the vaccines are safe and should be taken once they are available”, Tunis said.
Dr Tunis said that the Community Parliament has continued to examine the COVID-19 pandemic more closely and is very concerned about the region falling deeper into recession as a result of the pandemic.
The Speaker of Ghanaian Parliament, Alban Bagbin, in a message urged Members of Parliament to recommend programmes that will alleviate the sufferings of the citizens, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic while considering the budget.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr Sidie Mohammed Tunis has presented the draft 2022 appropriation bill before the parliament.
He said the draft estimates place emphasis on supporting programmes that address core areas of civil liberties, the rule of law, accountability and transparent governance, peace and security, as well as economic development.