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General News of Wednesday, 20 January 2021


Coronavirus vaccines meant to kill us - Gov. Bello

File photo: Governor Yahaya Bello File photo: Governor Yahaya Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has cautioned Nigerians to beware of the COVID-19 vaccines, claiming that they were meant to kill people.

Governor Bello, who is aspiring to become Nigeria’s President by 2023, raised the alarm ahead of today’s meeting of all the 36 governors to decide on the commencement of the vaccination exercise across the country. 

The Federal Government had said it was expecting, at least 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech-approved COVID-19 vaccines to come in by the end of this month.

Executive director and Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo would receive the vaccines on live television, to encourage Nigerians to take the vaccines as a preventive measure against the dreaded virus.

Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, while addressing journalists in Abuja after meeting with President Buhari last week, said he and his colleagues would also take the vaccine on live television.

He said: “We, too, will like to demonstrate to our citizens that we believe that the vaccines would work.

“Don’t forget, we have a lot of experience on this. The Governors Forum managed the polio vaccines administration in the country and we have garnered a lot of experience.”

But speaking to a crowd of people in a video that has gone viral, governor Bello doubted the authenticity of the vaccines and insisted there is no cure for HIV and many other diseases troubling mankind.

He said: “Vaccines are being produced in less than one year of COVID-19. There is no vaccine yet for HIV, malaria, cancer, headache and for several other diseases that are killing us. They want to use the (COVID-19) vaccines to introduce the disease that will kill you and us. God forbid!

“We should draw our minds back to what happened in Kano during (sic) the Pfizer polio vaccines that crippled and killed our children. We have learned our lessons.

“If they say they are taking the vaccines in public, allow them to take their vaccines. Don’t say I said you should not take it, but if you want to take it, open your eyes before you take the vaccines.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has lamented the high cost of storing the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine being expected in Nigeria soon, even as it procures three Ultra Cold Chain (UCC) machines with a storage capacity of 2,100 litres for storage of the COVID-19 vaccines when they eventually arrive Nigeria.

The government said it’s considering the option of Oxford AstraZeneca or other COVID-19 vaccines that would be safely and easily stored using existing facilities being used to store vaccines used in routine immunisation.

Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Shaib Faisal, who disclosed the information to journalists after inspecting the newly installed UCC machines in Abuja, yesterday, said the task of procuring and installing UCC facility across strategic locations in Nigeria for the purpose of storing Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is huge and could cost Nigeria huge fortune.

“The 100,000 doses of vaccines being expected in Nigeria will occupy a space of 500 litres out of the 2,100-litre capacity, meaning that the UCC facility will store over 400, 000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine when procured.

“But going forward, we would focus on COVID-19 vaccines that do not require UCC to store or keep potent and effective. We are considering the option of Oxford-AstraZeneca type of vaccine that requires lower degrees Celsius to store.

“However, if we would continue to bring in more Pfizer vaccines, then the providers would make arrangements for the procurement of additional UCC that would be installed across strategic locations in Nigeria. It’s easier for us to move the kind of vaccines that we are used to because our health care workers are used to it. Our routine immunisation vaccines are stored at +2 to +8 degrees Celsius. We suggest that since our health workers are already used to that, we should consider vaccines that could be stored in such facilities.”

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