The United Nations I n t e r nat i o n a l Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has urged Nigerians to get vaccinated against the novel Coronavirus instead of spreading rumours about the efficacy of the vaccine, which is to prevent the virus. Mrs Elizabeth Onitolo, UNICEF Specialist, Communication for Development (C4D), made the call at a three-day media dialogue in Yola yesterday. According to Onitolo, everyone is at risk of contracting the virus and the only way out is to get vaccinated and stop the rumours that the Oxford- Astrazeneca vaccine has side effects.
She said the government was doing everything to get people to focus on the science that justified the use of the vaccine rather than create sensational politics and unfounded stories around it. She listed the COVID-19 vaccines around the world to include Pfizer, Oxford-Astrazeneca, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) and Moderna, adding that all performed the same function of prevention. According to the C4D specialist, there is no natural immunity to COVID-19, hence the need for everyone to continue observing the non-pharmaceutical measures which are the washing of hands, use of face masks and observing physical distancing.
“COVID-19 vaccine is safe; the vaccine has been certified safe by the World Health Organisation and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). “COVID-19 does not contain any micro-chips as is being speculated in some sections; there is a need to continue to wear face masks even after vaccination,” she emphasised. Onitolo, however, urged the media to help address the rumours and myths around the COVID-19 vaccine by telling Nigerians the efficacy and other benefits of the vaccine.