Claim: A news report by Newsclickng claims David Oyedepo, a christian cleric, has warned his members against taking the COVID-19 vaccine as it is deadly and has not been tested.
The claim that the COVID-19 vaccine is deadly and has not been tested is false and misleading.
Nigeria is not left out of vaccination efforts as it began vaccination of its citizens in March. In view of this, a recent news report by Newsclickng claims the General Overseer (GO) of the Living Faith Church International popularly known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, urged his church members to reject COVID-19 vaccination.
According to this report, this comment was made on Sunday during the 40th-anniversary thanksgiving service of the church in the Ota Cathedral in Ogun State.
The report added that the GO asked that he be consulted to find out how to deal with COVID-19 at no cost.
“Let me warn you against this deadly thing circulating around the country because it has not been duly tested. An elder of this church, who works with the World Health Organisation, confirmed this, thanking me for always speaking the truth about the authenticity of the COVID-19 vaccinee.”
Excerpt of Oyedepo’s comment in Newsclickng’s report.
Dubawa conducted a keyword search which led to other news reports on the same subject.
A report by The Nation noted that David Oyedepo said the vaccine is deadly and untested. The report also added that the pastor made his claim based on a confirmation of an elder of this church, who works with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Another report by The Cable carries the same claim.
After reading these reports, Dubawa went ahead to find the video clip of the church service that has been referenced in the claim attributed to Pastor Oyedepo.
We first found a short video clip of about 6minutess 20seconds of Mr Oyedepo speaking against the vaccine.
Dubawa also found the full live stream (9hours 51minutes) of the Church’s 40th-anniversary thanksgiving service on Living Faith Church Global’s Youtube page which has 368,000 subscribers.
Here we found this comment was actually made by the televangelist from about 5hours, 59minutes and 30seconds to about 6hours, 5mins and 22 seconds into the live stream of the service. This video which was streamed 21hours ago (that is on Sunday, May 9, 2021) had generated 144,000 views as of Monday, May 10, 2021.
While speaking to his new book titled “Jesus still heals all terminal diseases including coronavirus,” he warned against the vaccine noting it has not been tested.
He added that an oil blessed by him cures coronavirus.
“let me again warn you against the vaccine that they carry around. I am not a medical doctor but I read, it has not been tested, sir. I ran into one of our elders who worked for the WHO for 12 years and he said thank you sir for exposing this thing.
They wanted Africa dead, I heard them say it. When we were not dying, they now said how can we kill them faster? Africa has the least casualties of coronavirus among all the continents of the world.
They should come and find out from us how to deal with coronavirus at no cost. If I bless your bottle of oil, no matter who you are in the world, and you are a child of God and you take a shot of it, tell me where they will find coronavirus. That is my area, that is my calling. Be careful of that deadly thing called a vaccine, be careful.”
Reacting to what he described as a governor’s comment on terminating workers who refuse vaccination, he said “There is no law under heaven that enforces medication on anybody. If anyone terminated you for not taking the vaccine, my God will show up. Don’t listen to any harassment. I have never seen a place like this just carry an ignorant thing on our head. One governor just changed it quickly that if you are interested take it. That was not what he said before. Get this book and live free from every fear of the devil”.
Excerpt of Oyedepo’s comment.
First, in Oyedepo’s statement, the said elder who allegedly works with the WHO was not named. Also, the claim that COVID-19 vaccines are targeted at reducing Africa’s population has been debunked by Dubawa and it is noteworthy that vaccines are being rolled out not only in Africa but all over the world.
In Nigeria, although the vaccine is recommended, it is not compulsory.
The claim that the vaccine is not tested is false, as available documents by vaccine producers like Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (which is currently being administered in Nigeria), the Johnson and Johnson vaccine
and the WHO have shown the testing process of these vaccines.
Dubawa also reached out to the World Health Organisation(WHO) who debunked this claim, noting that all COVID-19 vaccines with its emergency listing have been tested for safety.
“COVID-19 vaccines save lives. They also protect people against severe illness from the virus and are a key tool in helping to end the pandemic. We are not aware of the unnamed WHO staff member allegedly quoted in this piece. All COVID-19 vaccines with WHO Emergency Use Listing are deemed to be safe and effective.”
Excerpt of WHO’s comment.
The organisation also added that other measures like face mask-wearing are necessary especially at large gatherings.
“Along with COVID-19 vaccines, mask-wearing, regular hand-cleaning and safe social distancing, particularly at larger gatherings, will also save lives and protect people from the virus.”
Excerpt of WHO’s comment.
The claim by the General Overseer of the Living Faith Church, David Oyedepo, that the COVID-19 vaccine is deadly and has not been tested is false and misleading. Our findings and comments from the World Health Organization confirm this.