Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, has said the belief that COVID-19 vaccine contains microchips and changes the DNA is false.
Nigeria received its first batch of 3.9 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
Speaking with Channels Television on Wednesday, Shuaib said it was the responsibility of health workers and scientists to address any concern that Nigerians may have regarding the vaccine.
“We as health workers; we as scientists have been working in the last few years to make sure that we don’t take for granted any questions or concerns that Nigerians will have. It is our responsibility not to just offer the vaccine but we also have to put in the hard-work to convince Nigerians, to provide them with the information around their questions. So is there a chip for example? No there is no chip in the vaccine. Is it possible that this will change your DNA? No, that doesn’ happen,” he said.
His comment comes amid misconceptions by some Nigerians concerning the vaccine, such as ”it changes the DNA; it contains chips and it is the mark of the Antichrist.”
While addressing concerns that only the rich will get access to the vaccine, Shuaib said the distribution will only be done according to priority — with frontline health workers as first priority followed by vulnerable groups.
”We have not already allotted these vaccines to the rich people or the people in the urban areas, absolutely not. The president has been very clear and the vice-president has also added his voice. Chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) has communicated this, and in our PTF media briefing, we’ve made it very clear in terms of who we’re going to prioritise. The first group of people who are going to be taking this vaccine are the frontline health workers,” the Chief Executive Officer said.