By Jimoh Babatunde
A virologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. David Olaleye has challenged anyone with proof of the COVID-19 vaccines to produce them and allow the Nigerian scientific community to review such evidence.
The renowned virologist, known for his groundbreaking work on HIV/AIDS said the depopulation claims about the COVID vaccines is nothing but mischief aimed to discourage the people from benefiting from science.
“There is deliberate or let me say direct mischief on the part of the group parading the false information about the COVID 19 vaccine.
“To me, it is not surprising, it usually happens when vaccines are developed, you remember the polio vaccine, people said a lot of things, they used politicians and religious people to try to dissuade people from submitting their children for the vaccine but at the end of the day, we had to engage thought leaders in the communities.
” In the case of the COVID 19 vaccine, it will be helpful to engage religious leaders,” the professor said.
Prof. Olaleye who led a team of scientists and researchers to isolate the variance strain of AIDS virus in Nigeria in 2003 maintains that it is unlikely that the complex and communal efforts used to develop vaccines could be compromised, saying those who are promoting the falsehood about the COVID 19 vaccine are deliberately causing mischief and creating fear in the population.
Olaleye: “What is happening in the propagation of fear, not science; science is truth, it deals with facts, so if people cannot bring their facts, they should stop causing fear.”
He also said the development of the vaccine for COVID -19 was not done in a year but research has been going on since the outbreak of the SARS virus in 2003.
Olaleye said: “You must understand that the COVID 19 vaccine did not just emerge within one year, as many people think; the study has been on since the 2002/2003 outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The development process was sped up in order to respond to the massive death toll experienced in early 2020 from COVID 19.
“One of the ways to counter the myths about the COVID 19 vaccine is to use information and science, the first response is the use of data, this is because data shows us real situation, data shows us logic and the response of people.”