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COVID-19 vaccine cannot generate electromagnetic effect – NPHCDA

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Dr Faisal Shuaib
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By Chidinma Chukwu

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has refuted claims that the COVID-19 vaccine create magnetic field around vaccination site of recipients.

This is in reaction to video making rounds on social media that the COVID-19 vaccine produces magnetic effect and cause the body to light up an electric bulb.

Speaking at the weekly press conference on the progress of the COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday in Abuja, the Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib said the misconception is carried out by mischief makers to undermine the efforts of the agency in fighting the pandemic.

He said “we are witnessing an increasing wave of COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation that should leave any patriotic Nigerian wondering how long mischief makers want the world to remain in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic itself.

“The anti-vaccination elements have come up with magnetic conspiracy, in which they claim, and are deceiving people with video that COVID-19 vaccine creates magnetic field around vaccination site and can cause the body to light up an electric bulb.

“As ridiculous as this and other conspiracy theories are, vulnerable people believe them and are therefore continuing to take the risk of avoiding COVID-19 vaccination. Although the people who are manufacturing conspiracy theories about COVID-19 are in the minority,the virulence of the social media increases their reach.

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“The creativity with which some people misinform others and spread misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccination calls for more deliberate, decisive, and consistent steps to counter as well as provide correct and accurate information that will help more people to make informed decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19” Dr Shuaib said.

He expressed concern that the right of public to true and public information of collective interest is threatened by just a few individuals who are taking advantage of the social media to mislead people about their health adding that for Nigeria to subdue COVID-19 and recover from its adversities, false theorist must be confronted.

He also noted that since the administration of the COVID-19 Vaccine in Nigeria, almost 4 million have been administered in Nigeria with no record of death linked to the vaccination despite claims from some quarters that the vaccine was introduced to depopulate Africans.

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“At the onset, it was claimed that COVID-19 was introduced to justify developing vaccines that would be used to depopulate Africans. Those who came up with this theory said that anybody who takes the vaccine would die immediately. Today, as we all can see, nearly 4 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Nigeria and we have not recorded any case of death linked to the vaccination.

“On seeing this reality, the rumour mongers changed their narratives into saying that the vaccines used in Europe and America are not the same as the ones used in Africa.

“Again, as evidence have come to show, it is now clear that the COVID-19 vaccines used in Europe, America and elsewhere in the World are the same used in Nigeria and other countries in Africa.

“The conspiracy theorist went silent about this claim and are now saying that anyone who takes the vaccine will die after two years. Nigerians are predominantly a country of Muslims and Christians. We know that these religions are clear that no-one knows the year or the day they will die. So why would we even pay attention to such spurious claims?” he questioned.

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Speaking further the Executive Director said Nigeria has made significant progress towards utilizing the 4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine gotten from COVAX facility, and that is why the vaccine roll out has been described as the best in the African sub-region even as Nigeria prepares to receive additional vaccine supply to commence phase 2 of its strategic vaccination plan.

He said 2,495,632 people have been vaccinated with the first dose, while 1,370,130 have received their second dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

“Overall, Nigeria has successfully utilized 3.9M doses, representing 96% of the 4,024,000 doses of the vaccines received in the country.

“Nigeria is poised to achieve 100% utilization of the doses of vaccine it has received in the next few days. This is to ensure that people are protected against COVID-19, and normalcy is restored.

Dr Faisal Shuaib however urged Nigerians to always seek accurate and verified information from credible sources so as to make the right decision to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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