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Sultan wants FG to clear myths around COVID-19 vaccine

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Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar

Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Saad Abubakar III, has urged the Federal Government to clear the myths around the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, to help traditional and religious leaders convince their people to accept it or not.

He specifically urged the government to provide answers to the questions agitating the minds of Nigerians on why the vaccine was got so early, in one year, even when the global science community had not been able to get vaccines for cancer and other killer diseases that had been around for years.

Speaking at the meeting organised by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) to discuss introduction of the vaccine in Nigeria, yesterday, in Abuja, the Sultan, who noted that there were so many conspiracy theories that the vaccine was meant to kill Africans, stated: “We cannot force people to take the vaccine, as the decision to take or not should be a personal choice.”

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According to the Sultan, Muslims know that knowledge is very important, and that Islam was founded on knowledge.

He added: “The vaccines are not yet in Nigeria, but it is an opportunity to bring up questions and fears about the vaccines, so that the authorities will offer answers and solutions.”

The Northern leader noted that the coordination and partnership with the northern traditional and religious leaders helped in the case of polio, the terrible illness that crippled Nigerian children.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, explained that “there is no COVID-19 vaccine specifically meant for Nigeria or Africa,” adding that the same vaccine used in the United Kingdom, United States and other countries will be used in Nigeria.

“Vaccines are serious biological materials and any vaccine that would be used in Nigeria must be certified safe and effective by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), though they have been certified by the Who Health organisation (WHO),” he added.

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