Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) on Monday urged Nigerians to disregard ongoing misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines.
Salako told the News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) in Lagos that people should not be reluctant in taking the vaccine when made available by the government.
NAN reports that the Nigerian government is expecting 42 million COVID-19 vaccines to cover one fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme.
NAN also reports that there are already misinformation circulating on social media on the COVID-19 vaccines.
“The only sense in all of these propaganda on social media to everybody who doesn’t want to die of COVID-19 is to take the vaccine.
“If you don’t take the vaccine and you come down with the virus, you are battling with a risk of dying, especially the elderly and people with underline diseases.
“Why people are afraid of the vaccine is because of all these propaganda coming from some sections.
“The only option we have now is the vaccine because the present situation is like being between the devil and deep blue sea and the best option it to take the vaccine.
“The frontline health workers should be the first set of people to be vaccinated as a matter of urgency” he said.
The D-G explained that most vaccines approved for use had gone through significant safety checks before they are being rolled out.
“For some of these COVID vaccines to get to the level they are, they have gone through quite a number of safety checks that have been put in place.
“So Nigerians should not entertain any fear to take the vaccine,” he said.
On reasons why the country was yet to come up with vaccines, Salako said vaccine development needs adequate funding and expertise.
He said the institute was already working on its own vaccine development.
“Vaccine development is not an easy process. We need the fund, expertise, equipment and the appropriate labouratory to carry out a successful vaccine development in the country.
“Here in NIMR, we are already working on one and we are going to get to the end of it,” he said. (NAN)