COVID-19: FG warns Nigerians against uncertified vaccine

The Federal Government on Tuesday warned Nigerians against patronising uncertified Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine, yellow in colour, being hawked in Kano. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the warning at a media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on the Control of Covid-19.

By the way, you must know that the vaccine being hawked in Kano which is called Covid-19 vaccine is yellow in colour.  It is not certify by anybody, please do not patronise the hawkers, he said. The minister who was giving update on public enlightenment and advocacy on covid-19 said a respected opinion poll, the NOI Polls, has shown that 99 per cent of Nigerians are aware of COVID-19   He disclosed that his ministry and its agencies had ramped up their public enlightenment and advocacy campaign to continue to reach Nigerians with information on how they can protect themselves and avoid contracting the disease.

This is necessary because, in the absence of vaccine or drugs, Non Pharmaceutical Intervention (NPI) remains the most effective way to contain the spread of the disease and protect Nigerians. The campaign has, therefore, continued to focus on the need for the populace to adhere strictly to social distancing and mass gathering restrictions, wear face mask and ensure good personal hygiene. The Ministry has now rolled out a new set of TVCs and radio jingles focusing on the NPI interventions. The TVCs and the jingles, in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, have started playing on the NTA and the FRCN, he said. Mohammed said the ministry was in the process of rolling them out on state and private radio and television stations across the country.

He particularly commended the federal government information dissemination agencies,  NTA, FRCN, NAN and VON for engaging in the public enlightenment and advocacy campaign. These agencies have used their own resources to produce TVCs and jingles, which they have continued to air and disseminate, in addition to devoting a large chunk of their programmes and time to the campaign. I am also happy to announce that, contrary to the belief in certain quarters, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), inspite of lacking adequate resources, has shown creativity in its bid to take the campaign to Nigerians.

The agency has leveraged its relationship with NGOs and the private sector to produce Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials which are now being disseminated to Nigerians in English, Pidgin and some of the major indigenous languages, he said. Mohammed added that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had taken steps to prevent misinformation via the broadcast stations by warning them to adhere strictly to the professional ethics of balance and fairness in reporting COVID-19.

He said the commission particular warned the stations against bringing on their programmes ‘panellists’ with agenda to make reckless statements and insinuations. The minister reiterated that failure to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Broadcasting Code would attract sanctions, as stipulated by the Code.

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