Coronavirus

  • Wasu na zargin wai allurar rigakafin COVID-19 na sanya wa mutane cutar HIV

    Zargi: Wani zargin da ake yadawa a WhatsApp na danganta cutar HIV da allurar rigakafin COVID-19 da ma ta cutar sankarau

    <strong>Wasu na zargin wai allurar rigakafin COVID-19 na sanya wa mutane cutar HIV</strong>

    Bincikenmu ya nuna mana cewa wannan zargin ba shi da tushe dan haka ba gaskiya ba ne

    Cikakken bayani

    Kwayar cuta mai karya garkuwar jiki wato HIV cuta ce da ke lalata duk wata kwayar halittar da ke kare jikin dan adam daga kamuwa daga cututtuka musamman kwayoyin jinin da aka fi sani da white blood cells a turance ko kuma CD4, wadanda su ne dama ke yaki da duk wata cutar da ta shiga jikin mutun a kowace gaba har sai ta tabbatar da cewa cutar ba ta nan kuma.

    Ana iya samun kwyar cutar idan jinin wanda ke dauke da kwayar cutar ya hadu da na wanda ba shi da shi, ko kuma cikin maniya da ruwan da ke fita daga farjin na mace. Idan kuma ba’a kula da shi ba ya kan habaka ya kai fa AIDS ko kuma kanjamau.

    Har yanzu kwayar cutar HIV abin fargaba ne domin ya zuwa yanzu, mutane fiye da milliyan 35 sun hallaka a dalilin cutar.

    Kwanan nan wani sakon da aka yi ta yadawa a WhatsApp ya yi zargin cewa kafar yada labaran BBC ta ce kwayar cutar HIV na cikin maganin da ake allurar rigakafin COVID-19 da shi.

    “BBC yanzu ta amince cewa akwai kwayar cutar HIV a cikin wadansu daga cikin magungunan da ake allurar rigakafin COVID-19,” kadan daga cikin sakon ya bayyana.

    Sakon wanda ya ke dauke da wani adireshi na cewa wannan ne dalilin da ya sa ake samun rahotannin karuwar cutar HIV.

    Wani hoto wanda shi ma ya yi yawo sosai ya na zargin wai jaridar The Times na zargin cewa Hukumar Lafiya ta Duniya WHO ta yi wa ‘yan Afirka fiye da miliyan 50 allurar rigakafin cutar sankarau a shekarar 1987 wadda ta janyo mu su HIV/AIDS.

    Ganin yadda wannan labarin ya yadu sosai ya kuma dauki hankali ya sa DUBAWA ta ce za ta yi bincike ta tantance gaskiyar lamarin.

    Tantancewa

    Zargin Farko: Allurar rigakafin COVID-19 na dauke da kwayar cutar HIV

    Adireshin da aka sanya a sakon WhatsApp din ya kai dubawa zuwa wani shafi mai suna praguetruth.cz wanda shi ma ya kasance ya yi irin wannan bayanin yana dangantawa da wani labarin da aka wallafa a wata kasidar Amurka dangane dakula da lafiya wadda aka fi sani da American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) a shekarar 2020.

    Da muka karanta labarin a AJMC mun gano cewa an gyara ainihin labarin wanda aka yi dangane da HIV da allurar rigakafin kwayar cutar Adeno ko kuma Adenovirus type-5 da ta COVID-19.

    Wannan gyarar da aka yi ya nuna cewa duk alluran rigakafin daga aka bayar da izinin amfani da su ba su da wani lahani ga lafiyar dan adam kuma suna aiki yadda ya kamata.

    Shafin tantance bayanai na Full Fact ma ya amince da hakan inda ya ce dama akwai allurar da aka so a yi tare da sinadarin protein din da aka samu da kwayar cutar HIV amma kuma ba’a yi amfani da shi ba.

    Domin tantance ko lallai akwai wadanda aka ce sun kamu da HIV ta haka, DUBAWA ta yi amfani da mahimman kalmamomin da duk yadda aka yi za su bulla a ire-iren wadannan rahotannin amma ba ta ga wani labari dangane da cewa ma an sami karuwa a adadin wadanda ke kamuwa da cutar HIV ba.

    A wani shafi mai suna hiv.gov wanda ke wallafa shawarwari a kan kari, dangane da manufofi, shirye-shirye da abubuwa masu amfani dangane da kwayar cutar HIV a Amurka, ya bayyana cewa a duniya baki daya, akalla mutane miliyan daya da rabi suka kamu da HIV a shekarar 2021. A cewarsu, bayan sun kwatanta wannan adadin da alkaluman da suka samu a shekarun baya sun kula cewa an samu raguwa a yawan mutanen da ke kamuwa da cutar a karon farko da kashi 32 cikin 100 tun daga shekarar 2010 sabanin zargin da aka yi da ke cewa aan sami karuwa.

    Mun kuma sake gano cewa wannan zargin da ma wasu masu kama da shi, kamfanin dillancin labaran Reuters ta riga ta karyata su bayan da wani rahoton BBC ya bayyana yadda aka yi watsi da wata allurar rigakafi a kasar Ostraliya bayan da aka danganta ta da HIV.

    Viral Facts Afirka, su ma masu tantance gaskiyar bayanai sun wallafa bidiyoiyn da suka karyata duk wani zargin da ke danganta HIV da allurar rigakafin COVID-19

    Manajan sashen kula da bayanai kan kiwon lafiya na Afirka a Hukumar Lafiya ta Duniya (AIRA) Sergio Cecchini shi ma ya karyata zargin

    “Zargin wai an gano kwayar cutar HIV a cikin allurar rigakafin COVID-19 karya ne. Akwai jita-jita da yawa dangane da wannan batun har ma da wadda ke zargin wai ana kamuwa da HIV daga allurar rigakafin ta COVID-19.

    Zargi na Biyu: Allurar rigakafin Sankarau ta taba janyo yaduwar cuta mai karya garkuwar jiki wato AIDS

    Bincikenmu ya nuna mana cewa babu wata dangatakar da ke tsakanin AIDS da allurar rigakafin cutar Sankarau. Mun gano cikakken binciken da shafin Full Fact ya yi mai karyata zargin baki daya.

    Mr Sergion na hadakar Hukumar Lafiya ta Duniya ma ya ce wannan tsohon zargi ne kuma ba shi da gaskiya inda shi ma ya ja hankalinmu zuwa binciken da shafin Full Fact ya yi na karyata zargin.

    “Wannan tsohon labari ne na cewa Hukumar Lafiya ta Duniya ta yi sanadiyar kamuwar butane miliyan 50 da cutar HIV kuma an karyata shi kamar yadda kuka gani a shafin Full Fact.

    A Karshe

    Binciken mu ya nuna mana cewa duk wadannan zarge-zargen ba su da tushe dan haka karairayi ne kawai.

  • Buhari’s figure on Nigeria’s vaccination rate inaccurate

    President Muhammadu Buhari said that 38.7 million, representing 35 per cent of total eligible Nigerians targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, have been fully vaccinated against the virus. 

    Buhari’s figure on Nigeria’s vaccination rate inaccurate

    Data from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) showed the total number of Nigerians who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is over 45 million representing 40.3 per cent of the targeted population. 

    Full Text

    On October 17, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari, at the last Ministerial Performance Review Retreat of his administration at Abuja, said 38.7 million Nigerians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, representing 35 per cent of the total eligible population targeted for vaccination.

    This was contained in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity. 

    Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019, there have been concerns about safety and survival, particularly in developing African countries with little to no health facilities to deal with the pandemic. 

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in April 2020 warned that Africa could become the next epicentre of the pandemic, noting that the outbreak might likely kill at least 300, 000 people in Africa and push nearly 30 million into poverty.

    According to data from Worldometers, as of October 18, 2022, there are about 630, 670, 164 diagnosed coronavirus cases worldwide, with 6,573,608 deaths. 

    Buhari’s figure on Nigeria’s vaccination rate inaccurate

    Of this number, only 265,741 cases have been confirmed in Nigeria and 258, 993 cases have been discharged while 3,155 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

    Verification

    Nigeria had set a goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022, following the WHO’s recommendation.

    Ahead of the vaccine rollout, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, explained that the federal government planned to vaccinate all eligible population from 18 years and above, including pregnant women.

    However, Nigeria has so far failed to meet its set target. At the end of 2021 and as of August 2022, only 27.7 million eligible persons had been fully vaccinated.

    Further checks by DUBAWA on the NPHCDA website revealed that 45, 044, 523 Nigerians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of October 16, 2022. 

    This figure represents 40.3 per cent of the population as against the 35 per cent given by the president. 

    Buhari’s figure on Nigeria’s vaccination rate inaccurate

    Also, the COVID-19 vaccination update on the website shows that 12, 734, 476 (11%) of the eligible population have been partially vaccinated against the virus. 

    Buhari’s figure on Nigeria’s vaccination rate inaccurate

    Conclusion

    President Buhari’s assertion that 35 per cent of Nigeria’s eligible population had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is inaccurate. The correct figure is 40.3 per cent. 

  • Recurring conspiracy theory claims COVID-19 vaccines infect users with HIV

    Claim: A viral WhatsApp message and image links HIV to COVID-19 and smallpox vaccines

    Recurring conspiracy theory claims COVID-19 vaccines infect users with HIV

    Our findings show these claims are baseless and are, therefore, false. 

    Full Text

    The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an infection that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the white blood cells called CD4. 

    It can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen or vaginal fluids, and causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

    HIV continues to be a major global public health concern as it has claimed more than 35 million lives.

    Recently, a viral WhatsApp message claims the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has admitted to HIV being part of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

    “The BBC has now admitted that the HIV was in some of the Covid vaccines,” part of the message read. 

    The message which contains a link suggests this is the reason countries are reporting a rise in HIV infection. 

    Recurring conspiracy theory claims COVID-19 vaccines infect users with HIV
    Screenshot of the WhatsApp message. 

    Another viral image alleged that The Times report claimed the WHO injected Africans with over 50 million smallpox vaccines in 1987 which triggered AIDS. 

    Recurring conspiracy theory claims COVID-19 vaccines infect users with HIV
    Screenshot of the viral Image. 

    Seeing how fast this information has spread and based on requests for verification, DUBAWA decided to verify these claims. 

    Verification 

    Claim 1: COVID-19 vaccines contain the HIV

    The link contained in this WhatsApp message led to a website, praguetruth.cz  which contained the same claim referencing an article published in the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) in 2020.

    Recurring conspiracy theory claims COVID-19 vaccines infect users with HIV
    Screenshot of the report by Prague Truth. 

    Going through the article on AJMC, we discovered the original story on HIV and Adenovirus type-5 vaccine COVID-19 vaccine has been updated. 

    This new update showed that all authorised vaccines are safe and effective. 

    Recurring conspiracy theory claims COVID-19 vaccines infect users with HIV
    Screenshot of the article on AJMC. 

    Full Fact also clarified that the potential vaccine with HIV protein (the basis for the original version of this report) was never rolled out. 

    To ascertain if there are reported new cases of HIV, DUBAWA conducted a keyword search. We found no news report on a surge in cases of HIV. 

    A website (hiv.gov) that provides timely and relevant federal HIV policies, programs and resources in the United States (US) reveals an estimated 1.5 million individuals worldwide acquired HIV in 2021. According to their data, this number marked a 32% decline in new HIV infections since 2010 contrary to the claim on surges in HIV. 

    We also found that this claim and similar ones which have been debunked by Reuters here and here originated from this BBC report that highlighted how an Australian vaccine was abandoned over a false HIV response. 

    Viral Facts Africa in its videos here and here have also dismissed claims linking the COVID-19 vaccine and HIV.

    The Infomedic Manager for the WHO Africa Infodemic Response Alliance (AIRA), Sergio Cecchini, dismissed this claim as false.  

    “The claim that HIV virus was included in COVID-19 vaccines is false. There have been several rumours including that COVID-19 vaccines were causing HIV infections.”

    Claim 2: smallpox vaccine by WHO caused a wave of AIDS infection. 

    Our research shows there is no link between AIDS infection and the Smallpox vaccine. We also found a fact-check by Full Fact also debunking this. 

    Mr Sergio of the WHO alliance also said this claim is old and has been debunked, making reference to the verification by Full Fact highlighted above. 

    “This very old false claim about WHO infecting 50M people has been deeply debunked by FullFact here”. 

    Conclusion 

    Our findings show these claims are baseless and therefore false. 

  •  Pfizer vaccine does not have 1,291 side effects as claimed by this Twitter user

    Claim: A Twitter user claims that the Pfizer vaccine has 1,291 side effects.

     Pfizer vaccine does not have 1,291 side effects as claimed by this Twitter user

    Our findings and the document referenced in the article only contains the list of Adverse Events of Special Interest (AESI) Pfizer considered during its pharmacovigilance activities, not the side effects of the vaccine. 

    Full Text

    A Twitter user Deez (@Deezeytop) shared the link to a story that claims the Pfizer vaccine has 1,291 side effects.

    He made this claim while responding to a Tweet by DUBAWA that Nicki Minaj’s claim on COVID-19 vaccine side effects is false and misleading.

    Deez requested that the tweet by DUBAWA be removed as it was spreading misinformation claiming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed these side effects. 

    “You’re spreading misinformation, please remove this tweet. It has been confirmed via the FDA” the Tweet read

     Pfizer vaccine does not have 1,291 side effects as claimed by this Twitter user
    Screenshot of@Deezyetop’s Tweet.

    Verification

    We looked at the story by The Rio Times attached to the Tweet and found the document that revealed the said side effects linked in the report. 

     Pfizer vaccine does not have 1,291 side effects as claimed by this Twitter user
    Screenshot of The Rio Time’s report.

    Studying the document, we first observed that this document titled “cumulative analysis of post-authorization adverse reports of PF-07302048 (BNT162B2)” was a 2021 document.

     Pfizer vaccine does not have 1,291 side effects as claimed by this Twitter user
    Screenshot of the document.

    The document showed that there were a total of 42,086 case reports (25,379 medically confirmed and 16,707 non-medically confirmed) containing 158,893 events. 

    “Cumulatively, through 28 February 2021, there were a total of 42,086 case reports (25,379 medically confirmed and 16,707 non-medically confirmed) containing 158,893 events. Most cases (34,762) were received from United States (13,739), United Kingdom (13,404) Italy (2,578), Germany (1913), France (1506), Portugal (866) and Spain (756); the remaining 7,324 were distributed among 56 other countries.”

    The document also contained the list of Adverse Events of Special Interest (AESI). This is found under Appendix 1, page 30-38 of the document. It includes events of interest due to their association with severe COVID-19 and events of interest for vaccines in general.

    This list which includes a wide range of conditions  is not the list of side effects of the Pfizer vaccine but the different possible effects  considered in its pharmacovigilance activities (the collection and assessment of safety related information to determine the benefit/risk impact).

    “The company’s AESI list takes into consideration the lists of AESIs from the following expert groups and regulatory authorities: Brighton Collaboration (SPEAC), ACCESS protocol, US CDC (preliminary list of AESI for VAERS surveillance), MHRA (unpublished guideline). 

    “The AESI terms are incorporated into a TME list and include events of interest due to their association with severe COVID-19 and events of interest for vaccines in general. The AESI list comprises MedDRA PTs, HLTs, HLGTs or MedDRA SMQs and can be changed as appropriate based on the evolving safety profile of the vaccine,”the document read. 

     Pfizer vaccine does not have 1,291 side effects as claimed by this Twitter user
    Screenshot of the list of AESIs.

    From the document’s discussion, its data did not reveal any new safety concerns and the only safety concern identified is the risk of anaphylaxis (a severe and potentially life threatening allergic reaction). 

    “The data do not reveal any novel safety concerns or risks requiring label changes and support a favourable benefit risk profile of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Review of the available data for this cumulative PM experience, confirms a favourable benefit: risk balance for BNT162b2.”

    The document assures that Pfizer will continue routine pharmacovigilance activities on behalf of BioNTech according to the Pharmacovigilance agreement in place, in order to assure patient safety and will inform the Agency if an evaluation of the safety data yields significant new information for BNT162b2.

    Since the Twitter user claims this was confirmed by the FDA, we checked out FDA’s reports. We  found a report on Monday, January 03, 2022, which amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to expand its eligibility to include the use of a single booster dose in individuals 12 and older at least 5 months after primary vaccination.

    The FDA had given approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older in August, 2021. 

    The approval and subsequent update of its EUA shows the FDA still recommends the Pfizer vaccine as safe and effective. 

    We also looked at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published in March, 2022. The report shows two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine protect against COVID-19–associated emergency department and urgent care encounters among children and adolescents. 

    It, however, revealed that vaccine effectiveness (VE) was lower during Omicron predominance and decreased with time since vaccination. 

    The centre still advises that all eligible children and adolescents should remain up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, including a booster dose for those aged 12–17 years.

    The World Health Organisation report on the Pfizer vaccine, which was last updated January 2022, did not point to any 1,291 side effects. It only addressed anaphylaxis as the only cause to  discontinue the vaccine.

    A keyword search led to the same report by The Rio Times, The South African and other similar reports. 

    We also found a fact-check by TechArp which noted that the claim that the Pfizer vaccine has 1,291 side effects is based on  the list of adverse events of special interest on the document.

    So far the known side effects identified by the CDC, WHO, and the National Health Service (NHS), include; pain, redness or swelling in the arm where the shot was given and tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of your body.

    We also reached out to the FDA via email for more information, but were referred to  different online resources.

    Conclusion 

    Our findings, documents by relevant health organisations and details of the document linked to the Rio Times report does not show 1,291 side effects of the Pfizer vaccine. The only list contained in the document is that of Adverse Events of Special Interest (AESI) Pfizer considered during its pharmacovigilance activities. This makes the claim false.

  • No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document

    Claim: The screenshot of a document has a claim that the International Common Law Court of Justice has prohibited the use of COVID Vaccines.

    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document

    Our findings show the document is doctored and there is no court named the International Common Law Court of Justice. Therefore, the claim that the International Common Law Court of Justice has prohibited the use of COVID-19 vaccines is false.

    Full Text 

    The screenshot of a letter allegedly from the International Common Law Court of Justice (ICLCJ) has a claim that COVID-19 vaccines have been outlawed. This screenshot which has gone viral on WhatsApp was shared with the message, “Everyone should read this, copy and share with everyone you know in order to protect everyone’s human right.”

    The letter with the date January 15, 2022, was titled “public warrant prohibiting the use or imposition of COVID vaccines.”

    “LET IT BE KNOWN that the court has outlawed all COVID ‘vaccines’ and prohibited their use or imposition after lawfully convicting their manufacturers, including the corporation known as Pfizer Ltd., and GlaxoSmithKline Ltd., of crimes against humanity and of producing the COVID vaccine through the trafficking, torture, organ removal, murder, and genocide of children, indigenous people and other involuntary experimental test subjects,” part of the letter read. 

    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document
    Screenshot of the image going viral

    This screenshot was also sent to DUBAWA for verification. 

    Verification

    DUBAWA’S findings show the acclaimed organisation, International Common Law Court of Justice (ICLCJ), written beneath the logo on the letter, does not exist. Extensive research on the acclaimed organisation on the internet yielded no result. 

    Interestingly, the logo is that of the International Criminal Court (ICC), adopted by the claimant to mislead unsuspecting members of the public. 

    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document
    The logo of ICC on top, adopted by the acclaimed organisation, ICLCJ 

    Even more, when DUBAWA conducted a reverse image search of the acclaimed letter, a similar post with the claims attributed to ICLCJ emerged on Twitter. This time, the user,  Kym Burt (@KymBurt4) claims  that government leaders and others face arrest after being convicted of genocide. 

    “Big parma, government leaders face arrest as court convicts them of genocide, prohibits injections….,” part of the Twitter post read.

    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document
    Screenshot of the Twitter post by @KymBurt4.

    Attached to this Twitter post was a link to a news story by Rumble published January 15 2022. This report carries the same claim as the Twitter post.

    “A groundbreaking announcement announces the conviction of those involved in global genocide. It gives every man and woman on the planet the authority to seize and destroy any and all Covid-19 paraphernalia,” part of the report read.

    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document
    Screenshot of the report by Rumble.

    We also found a fact-check debunking the claim in this Twitter post. This check by Agence France -Presse (AFP) Canada debunked the claim about COVID vaccine genocide and arrest. 

    Forensic Analysis of the alleged narrative

    Using the Forensic tool, forensically,  an error level analysis was carried out on the image. At different levels of analysis, the result showed the document was doctored by using a correcting fluid on the original paper to forge a new narrative. 

    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document
    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document
    Results from Forensically
    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document
    Results from forensically, revealing the correcting fluid used to doctor the image.

    Also, hard copy documents presented online do not carry a hyperlink because  hard copy documents are not meant to function online. However, analysis of this document showed a blue-coloured text which shows there is a link around the signature line. This, in itself, is a major red flag.

    No, COVID-19 vaccines are not prohibited as claimed in this doctored court document
    Screenshot of the analysis highlighting the link.

    Conclusion

    Our findings show the document is doctored and there is no court named the International Common Law Court of Justice. Therefore, the claim that the International Common Law Court of Justice has prohibited the use of COVID-19 vaccines is false.

  • Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked

    After the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was discovered,  there have been amid other concerns, amid concerns that vaccines won’t be effective against the new strand, thereby fueling vaccine hesitancy.

    Recently, a viral WhatsApp message made several claims around vaccines, vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

    According to this message, fully vaccinated people pose a threat in winter and must be quarantined while others claim that vaccines do not work.

    The message also claims the booster shots make COVID-19  cases worse and that unvaccinated persons are not dangerous.

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked
    Screenshot of the viral WhatsApp message.

    Verification

    Seeing that this message contains several claims, Dubawa identified the different claims and verified them individually. 

    Claim 1: Vaccinated people must be quarantined in winter because they pose a danger.

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked

    False

    This WhatsApp message claims that vaccinated persons must be quarantined over the winter months or else risk serious illnesses.

    This claim was allegedly made by Christian Perronne, a former vice president of the World Health Organisation’s European Advisory Group of Experts in Immunisation.

    “The World Health Organisation European Advisory Group of Experts in Immunisation, former vice president, professor Christain Perronne, yesterday said that all vaccinated people must be quarantined over the winter months or risk serious illnesses.”

    Excerpt of the claim. 

    A keyword search led to a Twitter post by Dr. Jesse Livermore LL.M.,PH.D (@JessieLivermore) on September 20, 2021 with a similar claim. In this tweet the claim is that Pfizer said vaccinated people can harm unvaccinated people.

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked
    Screenshot of the Twitter post with a similar claim. 

    This tweet had the link to a website which carries a story from May 2021 where Pfizer allegedly confirmed that vaccinated people can shed spike protein and harm the unvaccinated. 

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked
    Screenshot of the website.

    The WHO has approved 8 vaccines for COVID-19  after having vetted their efficiency, effectiveness and safety. According to Bloomberg, more than 8.23 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across 184 countries.

    Fully vaccinated persons according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are less likely to develop serious illness and vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus which is not so in the case of the COVID-19 vaccines.

    The spike proteins (which is also found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19) in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which use mRNA technology, are produced after the vaccine sends instructions to the body’s cells.  

    The cells make the protein which our immune system recognizes as a foreign body and responds to by producing antibodies.

    The spike proteins are harmless, do not cause illness and do not last long in the body. This makes the claim false.

    Who is Christian Perronne?

    Christian Perronne is a Professor of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the University of Versailles-St Quentin, Paris-Saclay, France. He has, however, been identified as a controversial doctor known in conspiracy theory circles for his criticism of health policy in the fight against COVID-19.

    Our search on the said WHO advisory group led us to the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) which indicates that Christin Perronne is not on the list of current and former members. The current chair of SAGE is Dr. Alejandro Cravioto.

     Claim 2: Unvaccinated people are not dangerous

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked

    False

    Unvaccinated persons are still a risk to people around them, especially people with weak immune systems. Christopher Martin, a professor of public health at West Virginia University, was reported to have said that these unvaccinated groups create more opportunity for the virus to mutate.

    “Large numbers of unvaccinated people do make variants more likely. If any one of these random errors confers an advantage to that virus, such as making it more contagious like delta, that variant can quickly become the dominant one circulating in the population,” he said.

    Although there have been “breakthrough” COVID cases among vaccinated persons, the majority of hospitalizations and ICU cases are among unvaccinated people. 

    Ghazala Sharieff, chief medical officer for acute care and clinical excellence said “The bottom line is that the COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing both infections and deaths”.

    Claim 3: 95% of seriously ill patients in Israel are vaccinated.

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked

    Misleading

    The message also claims an Isreali doctor, Kobi Havi, said 95% of  seriously ill patients are vaccinated.

    “95% of seriously ill patients are vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people account for 85-90% of hospitalisation,” a part of the claim reads.

    Who is Hobi Haviv?

    According to one of the LinkedIn profiles found, Hobi Haviv is a team leader at Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries in Israel. Another profile says he is operational excellence leader, Elbit Land Systems at Elbit Systems Ltd.

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked
    Screenshot of second LinkedIn profile.

    According to this report by haaretz.com, Dr. Kobi Haviv, is the head of the Herzog rehabilitation hospital in Jerusalem.

    We also found an interview video of Dr Haviv on UGETube with this claim in the caption.

    “Dr. Kobi Haviv, earlier today on Chanel 13 news Israel 13,”95 percent of the severe patients are vaccinated,” the caption reads. 

    Although the interview was not in English, it had English subtitles.

    Dr. Haviv said “most of the population is vaccinated, and 90%…85-90% of the hospitalisation here are fully vaccinated people. Yes unfortunately the vaccine, as they say, its effectiveness  is waning. Outbreaks in hospitals one patient infects a large number of people, it is not just here and there…” parts of the interview subtitle read. 

    According to Reuters, around half of Israel’s 600 patients presently hospitalised with severe illness have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. However, it notes that this is a rare occurrence out of 5.4 million fully vaccinated people.

    The majority of these patients who received two vaccine doses at least five months ago, are over the age of 60 and have chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, lung ailments etc  known to exacerbate a coronavirus infection.

    Also, according to a study published in October in the New England Journal of Medicine, COVID-19 breakthrough cases were found in health care workers.

    “Among 11,453 fully vaccinated health care workers, 1497 (13.1%) underwent RT-PCR testing during the study period. Of the tested workers, 39 breakthrough cases were detected,” part of the study’s result reads. 

    While it is true that breakthrough cases have been found, the alleged percentage is misleading. 

    Claim 4: The effectiveness of vaccines is declining or disappearing

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked

    Misleading

    It is true that immunity from the initial vaccine dose(s) naturally starts to wane over time which is the reason for booster shots, but this does not translate to vaccine effectiveness declining or disappearing. 

    Effectiveness of vaccines varies from one vaccine to another, but all approved vaccines are still effective against infection and severe illnesses.

    Real-world effectiveness data by CDC shows Johnson and Johnson is 71% effective at preventing hospitalisation from COVID-19 in adults who do not have compromised immune systems, whileModerna is 93% and Pfizer is 88% effective.

    Claim 5: Booster jabs will make cases worse

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked

    False

    COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are now authorised for all adults in the U.S., and anyone 18 years and older who has completed the Pfizer or Moderna primary vaccine series at least six months ago or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago is eligible for a booster shot.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends boosters six months after the second dose of one of the mRNA COVID vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna)  because data on the vaccines’ efficacy suggests that after that amount of time has passed, the vaccines start to offer less protection.

    For Johnson and Johnson on the other hand, boosters are recommended two months after the first shot because the CDC data on the vaccine’s performance in real-world conditions showed that it is only 71% effective at preventing hospitalisation from COVID-19 in adults who did not have compromised immune systems. This is less, compared to Moderna’s 93% and Pfizer’s 88% effectiveness rate.

    Claim 6: Vaccines don’t work

    Booster jabs make cases worse, vaccines don’t work, other COVID-19 claims fact-checked

    False

    Vaccines work, which is why they were given approval by the FDA.

    Although a study published in the Lancet shows that there is increasing evidence that vaccinated individuals continue to have a relevant role in transmission and that people with weak immune systems build lower levels of antibodies, there is still some protection from vaccination

    Conclusion

    This viral WhatsApp message with several claims on COVID-19 is replete with falsehood.

  • COVID-19: IEC to ensure the safety of voters on election day

    The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it has put in place measures to protect voters against the COVID-19 in today’s elections. 

    “As per the WHO protocol, we provide gloves for all our staff that would be at the various polling stations on the election day. We provide hand sanitisers and make sure that every voter is sanitized before entering the voting grounds. We also urge everyone to put on their mask when coming to vote so as to curb the spread of the Coronavirus,” the Direct of communication at IEC, Pa Makhan Khan told Dubawa on Thursday.

    He urged all eligible voters to put on face masks and abide by the WHO protocols to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

    Mr Khan further indicated that special provisions have been put in place to enable persons living with disabilities and the elderly to vote without any challenges.

    “Priorities will be given to persons living with disabilities, they are not allowed to queue in any circumstances and in any polling stations, they should go and vote as soon as they arrive without any issue,” he said.

    The Gambia is voting today December 4 to elect a president, the first since former President Yahya Jammeh lost power in 2016. Six candidates have been approved by the IEC to contest in the elections and a total of 962,157 people have been confirmed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) as qualified voters in the presidential election.

  • Assessing Nicki Minaj’s claim COVID-19 vaccine could cause impotence, swollen testicles

    Claim: Nicki Minaj, an American-Trinidadian rapper, recently made a post, via her Twitter page, suggesting that COVID-19 vaccine could cause impotence and swelling of the testicles.

    Assessing Nicki Minaj’s claim COVID-19 vaccine could cause impotence, swollen testicles

    There is no evidence to show that taking a jab of COVID-19 vaccine could lead to impotence and swelling of the testicles.

    Full Text

    On September 13, Nicki Minaj, a popular musician, posted via her Twitter page that her cousin had refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine because his friend who took it became impotent and ended up with swollen testicles. 

    She added that the said friend to her cousin was just weeks away from getting married when the incident happened, adding that because of the development, his bride called off their scheduled wedding. 

    In the post — which has garnered over 148,000 likes, 118,000 retweets and 44,000 comments — the rapper encouraged her followers to pray and ensure they are convinced before they take the vaccine.

    The music star wrote: “My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent. His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied.”

    Due to her status as a global pop star with far-reaching influence in countries such as Nigeria, her tweet further heightened fears of many about getting COVID-19 vaccine. 

    Minaj has over 227 million followers across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.

    Her claim had come at a time when several forms of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine are making the rounds on social media in several countries including Nigeria.

    As a result of the global impact of the virus, there has been an overwhelming amount of information on social media, websites and mainstream media about the virus with a mass audience willing to consume such pieces of information. 

    As with other disease outbreaks, the COVID-19 pandemic left people seeking answers to both professional and unprofessional means of prevention, symptoms, cures, and how this may possibly impact the way the world revolves. 

    However, the increased access to information resulted in the spread of misinformation. 

    For instance, In 2014 while the devastating Ebola epidemic raged in parts of West Africa, a viral WhatsApp broadcast prescribed bathing with or drinking salt and hot water mixtures as a “cure” for the dreaded disease. 

    Even though there was no medical basis for the claim, the “prescription” went viral enough for the government to have to officially debunk it. But that ultimately proved futile, as at least two people died and several others were hospitalized over excessive salt consumption. 

    The same tempo of misinformation applied to the effect of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s economy and people with influence ranging from religious leaders, among others. 

    Since the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccines, there have been conspiracy theories on the side effects of the vaccine on those who choose to get vaccinated. 

    Nigerian televangelist Christopher Oghenebrorie Okotie, who is also Pastor of the Household of God Church International Ministries, claimed in a viral video that taking the COVID-19 vaccine would turn recipients into vampires. 

    Also, founder of LoveWorld Incorporated, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, said Christians should believe in the word of God rather than in the vaccine.

    Recently, some videos circulated the internet where some individuals alleged to have received the COVID vaccine claimed that when a LED bulb is placed against the spot where the vaccine is injected, it lights up. These claims have however been debunked. 

    Therefore, Minaj’s tweet has continued to ignite debate on the possible dangers around taking the vaccine across the world. 

    Verification

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting people against severe disease and death from variants of the virus. 

    The centre acknowledges that after taking the vaccine, there is a probability of developing side effects, but noted that such are only temporary. 

    It also revealed that common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines on people include: pain, redness and swelling on the spot where one gets injected. It added that those who have received the vaccine may experience tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.

    “Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination,” it said.

    It, however, explicitly states that the vaccine does not affect impotence and swelling of the testicles as Minaj’s tweet claimed.

    It said: “Currently no evidence shows that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause male fertility problems. A recent small study of 45 healthy men who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) looked at sperm characteristics, like quantity and movement, before and after vaccination. Researchers found no significant changes in these sperm characteristics after vaccination.

    “Fever from illness has been associated with short-term decrease in sperm production in healthy men. Although fever can be a side effect of COVID-19 vaccination, there is no current evidence that fever after COVID-vaccination affects sperm production.”

    Similarly, Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister, Terrence Deyalsingh, has dismissed Minaj’s claim, describing the musician’s tweet as “false.”

    “As we stand now, there is absolutely no reported such side effect or adverse event of testicular swelling in Trinidad or, I dare say, anywhere else in the world,” he said.

    In an interview with CNN, Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to Joe Biden, US president, also faulted Minaj’s claim, saying her claim lacks evidence.

    “There’s no evidence that it happens, nor is there any mechanistic reason to imagine that it would happen. So the answer to your question is no,” he said.

    “There’s a lot of misinformation, mostly on social media, and the only way we know to counter mis- and disinformation is to provide a lot of correct information.

    “To essentially debunk these kinds of claims, which may be innocent on her part, I’m not blaming her for anything, but she should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis.”

    Conclusion

    Nicki Minaj’s tweet suggesting that COVID-19 vaccine could lead to impotence and swelling of the testicles is false. There is no scientific evidence to substantiate such a claim.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with SaharaReporters to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • What you need to know about the 3 brands of Covid-19 vaccines deployed in Nigeria

    On March 2nd, Nigeria became the third West African country to receive nearly 4million COVID-19 dosage of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after Ghana and Ivory Coast through the international COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX) scheme. So far, the Nigerian government says it has given out 3.97million dosage of the AstraZeneca vaccine with 1.42 million people fully vaccinated since it kicked off its nationwide inoculation programme.

    Recently, the government also received another 4million dosage of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine donated by the United States of America to help the country battle a third wave of infections. The doses, which arrived on two planes, were received by UNICEF officials on behalf of Nigeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. This was followed by another 177,600 Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine through the African Union on August 12th 2021. 

    The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has said the shipment of the J&J vaccine is the first batch from the African Union which would be received in monthly segments until a total of 29.8 million doses are completed.

    What are the 3 brands of vaccines 

    Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine 

    The Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine is a viral vector vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company and given by intramuscular injection. According to Medical News Today, the viral vector vaccine contains the gene that encodes for the spike protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and once delivered to the cells, the gene is transcribed, prompting our cells to make the spike protein. It is the presence of the protein that triggers the body’s immune system to produce antibodies to fight against the spike protein, which prepares the body to fight against Covid-19 should it enter the body. The vaccine has a shelf life of six months stored in a refrigerator between 2 to 8°C and once removed from fridge, may be stored between 2 to 25°C for up to six hours. 

    Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

    The Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine is codenamed mRNA-1273 and developed by Moderna, the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The Moderna is an mRNA vaccine  that sends the body’s cells instructions for making a spike protein that will train the immune system to recognize it. The immune system will then attack the spike protein the next time it sees one. According to the company, the vaccine has greater than 90% efficacy against cases of COVID-19 and more than 95% against severe cases, with approximately six months median follow-up after the second dose.

    Johnson and Johnson vaccine

    Johnson and Johnson vaccine is the third vaccine to be granted emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drugs Administration after Pfizer and Moderna. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna however, the Johnson and Johnson, like Oxford-Astrazeneca are viral vector vaccines which use a modified, harmless version of a different virus as a vector, or carrier, to deliver immunity instructions to cells in the body. The body then follows those instructions to build an immune response to the intended virus (in this case, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.)

    Between Oxford-AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson

    There are few differences between the Moderna, J & J and AstraZeneca which are the three vaccines that have been deployed to Nigeria. All three have been granted emergency use authorization by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as approved for use in Nigeria by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

    Oxford-AstraZeneca was the first vaccine to be administered in Nigeria and according to a report by the BBC, it is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees and has been modified to contain genetic material shared by the coronavirus – although it can’t cause the illness.

    The moderna vaccine which the Nigerian government has began administering for the the second phase of the vaccination programme can be thawed in the refrigerator between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F) with unpunctured vials stored in the refrigerator for up to 30 days, according to the Centre for Disease Control. The vaccine is also designed to be administered as two 0.5 mL doses given by intramuscular injection with the WHO recommending an interval of 28 days between doses. WHO states that the vaccine has an efficacy of approximately 94.1 per cent in protecting against COVID-19, starting 14 days after the first dose.

    The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires storage at 35.6 to 46.4 degrees F. According to the company, the vaccine is estimated to remain stable for two years at -4°F (-20°C) and for a maximum of three months at routine refrigeration at temperatures of 36-46°F (2 to 8°C).

    Speaking on the vaccine, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, explained that the temperature for storing the J&J vaccine is that which most of Nigeria’s routine immunization vaccines are stored. A major advantage the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has over Moderna and Oxford-Astrazeneca is that it requires only a single shot which makes it easier to distribute and administer in hard to reach areas.

    Dr. Shuaib said the first batch of the J&J vaccine will be focused on those who are in the hard-to-reach areas as well as the elderly and frail individuals across the country since it is administered only in one dose.

    What Nigerian Experts are saying

    As concerns mount over the different brands of Covid-19 vaccines imported into the country, Nigerian experts have allayed fears over the three brands, saying all three have been approved for use by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and also granted emergency use authorisation by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    The National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) have stressed that the Moderna vaccine, Johnson and Johnson and the Oxford-Astrazeneca have all been approved and are safe and effective against Covid-19. 

    The Executive Director/CEO of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib while briefing newsmen in Abuja recently, assured Nigerians that COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of brand, as long as they have been approved by NAFDAC, provide adequate protection against the disease.

    The NPHCDA, however, said all those who have taken the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and are due for their second dose would be given their second dose within the month of August when the over 5,000 doses of AstraZeneca will arrive in the country. In other words, Dr. Shuaib stressed that it is not the recommendation of WHO for anyone who takes the first jab of Oxford-AstraZeneca to take the Moderna vaccine which has just been delivered to Nigeria. 

    Also, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) recently allayed fears over the Moderna vaccine, saying it is safe and effective against the COVID-19 virus. The NMA Lagos Chairman on COVID-19, Dr Japhet Olugbogi said: “Moderna has up to 94 percent ability to prevent people from coming down with symptoms of COVID-19 and also 90 percent ability of preventing people from coming down with a severe form of the disease.”

  • Did the Sierra Leone Government enforce vaccinations to beat vaccine expiry date?

    Claim: Did the Sierra Leone Government enforce compulsory vaccinations for employees of government institutions to accelerate the administration of vaccines before they expire?

    Did the Sierra Leone Government enforce vaccinations to beat vaccine expiry date?

    Although one batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Sierra Leone was to expire a month after the government enforced vaccinations, there is insufficient evidence to show this was the reason for the government’s regulation.

    Full Text

    The Government of Sierra Leone through its COVID-19 response body National COVID-19 Emergency Response Centre (NaCOVERC) issued a public notice on 17th June 2021 instituting measures to combat the third wave of the virus in Sierra Leone. One regulation stated that “Government ministries, departments and agencies will only be accessed by employees and members of the public with proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination.” Though not stated in clear terms, the notice was enforcing compulsory vaccinations for people especially employees who want to access the offices. 

    NaCOVERC say the decision was informed by the Word Health Organisation (WHO) reports and by an examination of the epidemiological data, which showed increasing cases of COVID-19 and related deaths. However, there were public speculations that the Sierra Leone Government was enforcing vaccinations because the vaccines available were about to expire.

    Vaccine Availability

    Sierra Leone received 96,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on 8th March 2021 shipped through the COVAX Facility, a partnership between the Government of Sierra Leone, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WHO. 

    On 20th March 2021, 42,000 doses of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine were sent by the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) which redistributed 925,000 doses to 13 countries on the continent.

    Two hundred thousand (200,000) doses of Sinopharm vaccines were donated to Sierra Leone by the Chinese Government and later in April an additional 40,000 doses from China’s Ministry of Defense to the Sierra Leone Defense Ministry specifically. 

    Altogether, Sierra Leone has received 378,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

    Vaccine roll out

    The official vaccine rollout in the West African state started on 15th March 2021, targeting people over 70, teachers, firefighters, government officials and health workers. The launch ceremony of the vaccination campaign  took place at State House in the capital Freetown where some government officials, including President Julius Maada Bio, were vaccinated. 

    According to Dr Tom Sesay, the Vaccine Pillar Lead for NaCOVERC, by 31st May 2021, before Sierra Leone released the new regulations under the third wave of COVID-19, 72,888 people had received their first dose and 17,502 people had received their second dose of vaccines. This makes up 1.44% of the population 18 years and above targeted for vaccination. 

    Vaccine Expiration Dates

    The Sinopharm vaccines donated by China are due to expire in February 2023.

    The batch of 42,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines received from the AU had an expiration date of 13th April 2021. 

    The batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines received from the COVAX Facility were to expire on 16th July 2021 – exactly one month after the notice was released.

    Can vaccines be used after they expire?

    The World Health Organisation advises against using any vaccine that has passed its expiry date and recommends that expired doses are removed from the distribution chain and safely disposed of. 

    In May, the BBC reported that Malawi destroyed almost 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine. Other African countries have also not been able to use up all their vaccine doses before the expiry date. A more recent report by the BBC claims up to 450,000 vaccines have been destroyed in nine African countries including Sierra Leone. 

    Verification

    Sierra Leone’s NaCOVERC has denied destroying expired vaccines saying 29,000 vaccine doses were administered from the AU batch which expired in April and 13,000 which expired before they could be used have not been administered nor destroyed but have been stored away. 

    The same statement released by NaCOVERC confirms that all 96,000 AstraZeneca vaccines supplied through the COVAX Facility were administered before their expiry date of 16th July 2021. 

    In a press conference organised by the country’s Information Ministry on 21st July 2021, Dr Tom Sesay stated “we could have paced the utilization of the AstraZeneca vaccines but because they were to expire on the 16th of July, we had to expedite the use of that particular vaccine”.

    This is not conclusive evidence to prove that the regulation for compulsory vaccination was imposed to amp up vaccine administration and beat the expiration date. However, it speaks to the pressure to use up the vaccines before they expire.

    “The call on citizens to be vaccinated is to break the chain between case surge and hospitalization and eventually attain herd immunity. Invariably, as people get inoculated, even our donors will have a very positive impression of SL as a worthy recipient of COVID-19 vaccines, and prioritize us for more supplies…because the 96,000 covax-donated AstraZeneca shelf life was considerably shorter than Sinopharm, we worked hard to exhaust that consignment before its July 16 expiration date and not to necessarily prioritize it over Sinopharm,” the Spokesperson for NaCOVERC, Solomon Jamiru, said when contacted for clarification.

    As at 20th July, 2021, a total of 135,590 people had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination and 32,607 people had received the second dose. This represents 2.7% of the population over 18 years targeted for vaccination. This data compared to the end of May shows over 86% increase in vaccine administration during the period the regulations were enforced.

    Conclusion
    While it is true that the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine doses received from the COVAX Facility were to expire on 16th July 2020 – one month after the NaCOVERC’s public notice, there is not sufficient evidence to show this was the reason for enforcing vaccination for employees of government ministries, departments and agencies.

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