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HEALTH WATCH

Technology Used To Develop Covid-19 Vaccine Makes It Safe – FG

By DEBORAH MUSA, Abuja

The Federal Government has advised persons who go about fabricating lies and spreading misinformation about the Covid-19 Vaccine to desist from it as the technology used to develop the Covid-19 vaccines Makes it safe

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Dr Faisal Shuaib explained that the mRNA technology used to develop the new coronavirus vaccines has been in development for almost two decades

Dr Faisal made it known that Scientists developed the technology to help respond quickly to pandemics, such as COVID-19 at the media briefing on the Covid-19 vaccination update in Abuja

Dr Shuaib noted that Nigeria and the rest of the world needs to end the pandemic, recover from its economic adversities and return to normalcy and the fastest way to achieve this is by everyone who is eligible, getting vaccinated, as misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccines will only slow things down

He said” I wish to appeal that more dedicated contents and programs addressing misinformation and educating the people on the benefits of getting vaccinated are shared

“Permit me to reiterate the fact that a vaccine is a reliable and proven tool for prevention and control of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

“Nigeria and the rest of the world need to end the pandemic, recover from its economic adversities and return to normalcy. However, getting this done will be difficult if we do not face the issues of misinformation and disinformation squarely

“As a rule of thumb, we endeavour not to join issues with individuals who would rather concoct misinformation that could negatively affect the health of citizens, this is because even acknowledging some of these falsehoods elevates and adds fuel to a raging flame that benefits only the perpetrator

“Nevertheless, we are constrained by the volume of specific enquiries about a viral text message which purports that the US Supreme Court has cancelled universal vaccination

“Let’s set the record straight and once again punch holes in the malicious intentions of anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists: The US Supreme Court has not “overturned universal vaccination” – there is no record of such a case, and there is no such thing as “universal vaccination” in the US. So this is another case of “Fake News” Faisal noted

He added that “There is often a lot of uncertainty in crisis situations, and this leads people to come together and share information in a collective, sense-making process, this process can sometimes get things right, but it can also get things wrong, thereby producing rumours that turn out to be false.

“As Nigerians, when we hear or read an information, we must always verify the credibility of the source, whether the information is internally consistent, and whether there is supporting evidence

“Nigerians are encouraged to always reflect on the veracity of the claims they encounter, People need to understand that disinformation is fundamentally exploitative— it tries to use our religion, our patriotism, and our desire for justice to outrage us and dupe us into faulty reasoning

“The false claims currently disseminated that COVID-19 vaccines are intended for genetic manipulations were similar to the claims that polio vaccines were intended to kill Muslims, but today, thanks to our resilience, solidarity and collective will, we have cause to celebrate our hard-won victory over wild polio virus in Nigeria” Faisal declared

Dr faisal encouraged all state Governors to be supportive throughout this phase in their various sates and borrow a leaf from the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki as the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination administration commence in all 35 states plus the FCT

Dr Faisal applauded Godwin Obaseki on the approach of involving spiritual leaders in religious centres towards mass acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccine approach he applied in getting the people in his state get vaccinated

He said “Our phase 2 vaccination has commenced in 35 states plus the FCT. For clients who have not had any vaccination, the Moderna Vaccine is available and is being administered currently in all designated health facilities in the Country, while those who have had their 1st dose of AstraZeneca vaccine are encouraged to visit their designated health facility to get their 2nd dose

“As at 30th August 2021, Nigeria has so far vaccinated 2,897,201 and 1,430,379 eligible persons with 1st and 2nd doses respectively across the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory.

“We would like to encourage Governors to continue to provide leadership in the mobilization of citizens to prioritize the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine. We are particularly enthused by the example shown by the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, as he mobilized churches and religious leaders towards mass acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine. Already, we are getting request from Edo State for additional vaccines, this is highly commendable”

Dr Faisal disclosed that all vaccines available in the country are very safe and effective and the ministry of health and Presidential Steering Committee are working hard on ways to make vaccines more available to all and once this has been achieved, sanctions are going to dealt out to persons who refuse to get vaccinated
“The Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health is exploring ways of making vaccines more available to all Nigerians including Federal Civil Servants and Corporate entities, Once these vaccines are made equitably available to all Nigerians, then we would need to have a frank discussion about justice, fairness and liberty that exist around vaccine hesitancy

“If some individuals refuse to take the vaccine, hence endangering those who have or those who could not due to medical exemptions, then we have to apply the basic rule of law which stipulates that your human right stops where mine begins, So, you have a right to refuse vaccines, but you do not have the right to endanger the health of others

“Let me once again, assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is very alert on the safety and efficacy of the various range of vaccines we are using in the country, and that is why we are not compromising on any component of our vaccine logistics at Federal and state levels

“I once again appeal to all our health workers to remain steadfast in discharging their professional responsibility to Nigerians. The Federal government is working hard and supporting the states in ensuring that Nigerians are protected against COVID-19. This is a collective fight in which we all have responsibility as Nigerians to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community

“At this juncture, I would like to remind all Nigerians that evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 is now mandatory for all pilgrims to the holy cities of Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem
Dr Faisal appreciated the UK government for her generous donation of an additional 592,880 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, which was received on Thursday the 26th of August 2021 through the COVAX Facility which made it a total of 1,292,640 quantity of vaccines donated by the UK Government to Nigeria

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