COVID-19 vaccine, NAFDAC
… Awaits delivery of over 11m doses soon
..3rd wave over100 testing positive for virus everyday in Lagos, can’t afford another lockdown–Sanwo-Olu, Abayomi

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

Federal Government, FG, has dismissed the report trending on social media on COVID-19 vaccine magnetic theory, describing it as fake news and handiwork of mischief makers.

It therefore, urged the public to disregard the statement in it’s entirety.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, while condemning the report, said it was an attempt to dissuade citizens from taking the vaccine.

Speaking at the South West Zonal Town Hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination, both Mustapha who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and Mamora, dispelled the conspiracy theories aimed at misleading the people.

The town hall meeting was organized by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in collaboration with National Primary Health Care Department Agency (NPHCDA) and hosted by the Lagos State Government.

The meeting was attended by all the Commissioner for Health in South West geopolitical zone and traditional rulers, religious leaders, non governmental organizations, World Health Organization among others.

The government representatives held that the magnet theory, in which mischief makers claimed COVID-19 vaccine creates magnetic field that causes metal objects to stick to vaccination site and causes the body to light up an electric bulb was a lie.

They disclosed that the government has received communication for the delivery of the following vaccine shipments in the coming months; 3,924,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca by end of July or early August 2021 from the COVAX facility; 4,000,080 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in August from the COVAX facility donated by the United States Government; 3,577,860 doses of Pfizer-Bio-N Tech COVID-19 vaccine in Q3 from the COVAX facility and 29,850,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson (Jassen) COVID-19 vaccine by the end of September, that will arrive in batches from the African Union Commission.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Jaji, also expressed dismay that the persisting rumors have affected the uptake of the vaccine.

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Sanwo-Olu declared that Lagos could not afford another lockdown again due to the imminent COVID-19 third wave which he believed it could be prevented.

While encouraging the citizens to take vaccine, he said, so far, the country had not recorded any case of death associated with the COVID-19 vaccine and almost four million Nigerians had been vaccinated.

“I am counting on the full support of NPHCDA, the South West Governors, our royal fathers, development partners and all other Distinguished guests here present to ensure that we all keep sensitizing our people on the need to adhere to all the precautions and guidelines that will bring the pandemic to a full and final stop.

“Am using this occassion to call on our royal fathers, Chiefs, religious leaders and elders to please continue in their efforts to fill the gaps in terms of community knowledge on benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, and also to dispel false rumors about the vaccine.

“We must get our Neighbourhoods and communities to own the vaccination campaign, and the entire fight against the Coronavirus.

“We can and must win this battle, and it starts with collaboration and partnership. Which is why I am happy that we have gathered here today to network and to discuss and fashion out strategies for working together for the success of the fight against this pandemic,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The Executive Director /Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the town hall meeting became necessary in order to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns, reach a consensus, and take more responsibilities in on-going efforts to protect citizens , and communities against the pandemic.

He said the meeting was anchored on the government conviction that it is not enough to offer vaccines to Nigerians, but that the government must also empowered the people with the correct information they require to make informed decision about getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

He said:”It is sad that just as an increasing multitude of Nigerians are beginning to realise the need to protect themselves against COVID-19, we are seeing new conspiracy theories aimed at misleading the people.

“The most recent of these is the magnet theory, in which mischief makers claim that COVID-19 vaccine creates magnetic field that causes metal objects to stick to vaccination site and causes the body to light up an electric bulb.

“I am glad that many independent voices have emerged on social and traditional media to counter this theory. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency also took steps to scientifically debunk the theory in a media engagement during where we practically demonstrated that the magnet theory is fake and misleading.

“While we continue to work hard, pray, and hope that many more Nigerians will understand the reality of COVID-19 and the urgent need to protect ourselves against it, we need to always seek correct and accurate information, and verify the ones people are sharing with us from reliable sources so that we may understand when mischievous people are trying to use the media to deceive us”.

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed that so, far all people who had tested positive for the virus have no history of being vaccinated.

According to Abayomi, “currently, over 100 people were testing positive for the virus everyday but the state government will continue to do its best in providing every necessary health care material and facilities to remedy the situation.”

Abayomi, also urged the public not to listen to mischief makers and get vaccinated.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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