AGAINST the backdrop of rising anti-vaccine narratives all over the place, experts have reassured the public of the safety of COVID-19 vaccines when they are made available in the country. Nigerians should disregard the anti-COVID-19 tales because they are outright lies and conspiracy theories, the professionals have said.

Prof. Oyewale Tomori, an internationally acclaimed virologist and chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Response, described negative narratives on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines as lies that should not be permitted to gain traction.

Speaking to The Nation, he said he was miffed that such lies and fake news were being allowed to spread and confuse the public without much being done to counter falsehoods with facts.

“If a carpenter offers to repair your car, will you? So, my advice is: after the World Health Organisation approval and NAFDAC has endorsed the use of a vaccine, we have nothing to worry about. I will take the vaccine and ensure that members of my family do the same. I will also encourage my friends to take it. I will use persuasion based on facts and not fiction as many of the anti-vaccine people are doing. I am sure no government will make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory. All we need is to convince people with facts on the benefit of taking the vaccine.

“It is unfortunate that information based on fake data, outright lies or originating from diabolically fertile imagination. What is more unfortunate is that these lies and fake news are allowed to spread unchallenged with facts. If you check the qualification of many of the originators of the fake information, they include chiropractors, homeopathy specialists, journalists and social commentators who are obviously unqualified professionally, to talk about viruses, vaccines and immunology,” he said.AGAINST the backdrop of rising anti-vaccine narratives all over the place, experts have reassured the public of the safety of COVID-19 vaccines when they are made available in the country. Nigerians should disregard the anti-COVID-19 tales because they are outright lies and conspiracy theories, the professionals have said.

Prof. Oyewale Tomori, an internationally acclaimed virologist and chairman of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Response, described negative narratives on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines as lies that should not be permitted to gain traction.

Speaking to The Nation, he said he was miffed that such lies and fake news were being allowed to spread and confuse the public without much being done to counter falsehoods with facts.

“If a carpenter offers to repair your car, will you? So, my advice is: after the World Health Organisation approval and NAFDAC has endorsed the use of a vaccine, we have nothing to worry about. I will take the vaccine and ensure that members of my family do the same. I will also encourage my friends to take it. I will use persuasion based on facts and not fiction as many of the anti-vaccine people are doing. I am sure no government will make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory. All we need is to convince people with facts on the benefit of taking the vaccine.

.“It is unfortunate that information based on fake data, outright lies or originating from diabolically fertile imagination. What is more unfortunate is that these lies and fake news are allowed to spread unchallenged with facts. If you check the qualification of many of the originators of the fake information, they include chiropractors, homeopathy specialists, journalists and social commentators who are obviously unqualified professionally, to talk about viruses, vaccines and immunology,” he said.