FG Debunks Conspiracy Theories on COVID-19 Vaccine

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The Federal Government has said that the decision to have the President, Vice President, and governors as the first set of people to take the COVID-19 vaccine is to puncture the conspiracy theories going round about the safety of COVID-19 vaccine.


The government also said that it would do a lot of enlightenment campaigns to neutralise the effect of the conspiracy theories and remove fear from the people’s minds.


The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated these in an interview with select journalists in Abuja, pleaded with religious leaders, political leaders and elites to join in assuring their followers that the government would not introduce unsafe vaccines.


According to him, the government has set the target of vaccinating at least 70 per cent of Nigerians in the next two years, as vaccines remain the only sure way to protect the people.


He, however, blamed the non-adherence to COVID-19 protocols for the recent surge in the number of cases in the country.


Mohammed said, “As of today, the government is busy trying to ramp up the vaccine and the government is talking to COVAX and various organisations in the world so that in the next two years, I think, 70 per cent of Nigerians would have been vaccinated.


“It would be such a tragedy if, after all the efforts and logistics, the vaccines are here and then some people are dissuading Nigerians not to take the vaccine either because of their past unpleasant experiences or because of some very unscientific conspiracies.


“The crux of the matter is that many Nigerians still live in denial. They don’t believe there is COVID-19. And for many of them, when we announce that so many people have tested positive and so many have died, these things just remain as figures and numbers until when those who are close to them are victims that they begin to realise that this is a serious matter.


“This is why every successful and celebrated Nigerian who has gone through this and has come out of it has shared their experience and I say this is not a joke. In the first instance, we don’t have the health infrastructure to support this kind of total recklessness on the part of Nigerians.


“On the conspiracy theories on the part of Nigerians, more than the vaccines, we need Nigerians to understand that the non-pharmaceutical intervention is still the most effective way of interrupting and slowing down the infection in Nigeria and consequently slowing down the mortality rate.


“It is already said that the President, the Vice President and the governors will be the first to take these vaccines to convince everybody that these vaccines are safe. We know that ahead of the vaccines, we must also mount a very vigorous enlightenment campaign to neutralise the effect of all these conspiracies to even assuage the fears of some people who have had some not too pleasant experiences in the past from certain vaccines. But the situation here is completely different.


“We know those who can convince their followers easily, especially religious leaders. We are also going to use our celebrities in the TV industry and sports to push this campaign.”

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