Vaccination Scare: Students Flee Examination Hall Over COVID-19 Vaccination
Pandemonium erupted on Friday at the Mafoni Primary and Junior Secondary School Maiduguri as pupils and students fled classrooms and abandoned their examinations over fear of COVID-19 vaccination.
Amina Usman, a class teacher in the Primary section of the school, said the pandemonium erupted when COVID-19 sensitization team arrived the school with a vehicle mounted with horn speaker, and the school children believing that it was government officials who had come to administer COVID-19 vaccination on them, fled out from their classes to different directions.
The teacher added that the students and pupils were writing their first term examination when the pandemonium occurred.
“The school children were running out of the school shouting” “ma’su allura, ma’su allura,” meaning “Vaccinators, Vaccinators.” the teacher said.
Corroborating the teacher, a security personnel in the school, Ibrahim Ali, said every effort made to call the students back to classes to continue their examination was abortive, as the students dismissed themselves for the day’s classes.
He said from all indications and being that the state is presently carrying out vaccination against COVID-19, it appeared that parents or guardians of the school children had warned them not to accept the COVID-19 vaccination .
“We made every effort to stop the children from going away, but they refused. Unfortunately, they are writing examinations and we pray that such don’t occur again”, the guard said.
Also speaking, a student of the junior secondary school, Abu Alhaji, said when the sensitization vehicle entered, they thought that the government had come to vaccinate them in the school, hence they all ran away, not knowing that they came only for sensitization.
“We thought they had come to vaccinate us with the COVID-19 vaccination and being that our parents did ask us to accept the COVID-19 vaccination, we had to run to avoid being forced to take the vaccine,” the school boy said.
Reports show that Borno recently received 75,510 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines, and for the moment the state began the vaccination with the frontline workers, followed by top government officials and persons from 50 years and above.
It could also be recalled that Borno state government has called on religious leaders to educate and enlighten their followers on the need to protect themselves against the COVID-19 pandemic by taking the AstraZeneca vaccines made available to the state by the federal government.
The Chief of Staff to Borno state Governor, Prof. Isa Husseini Marte made the call when he met the state’s religious leaders and briefed them on the government’s commitment to protect its citizens against COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, Borno State Government will not compel anyone to take the AstraZeneca vaccine rather than educate and enlighten the people on the need to take the vaccine.