No, Nigeria’s government hasn’t signed up to forcefully vaccinate its citizens

Nigeria’s federal government has admitted to agreeing to the forceful vaccination of its people against the coronavirus, claims the blog Nkiruka Nistoran.

COVID-19: FG admits to signing a forced vaccine on Nigerians,” the post’s headline reads. It was published on 4 May 2020, and shared on Facebook.

But in its first sentence, the post refers to medicines, not vaccines. “The Federal Government has admitted indicating interest to be part of the global solidarity trial of medicines being tried to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by the World Health Organisation.”

Medicines and drugs can ease the symptoms of a disease or even cure it. A vaccine helps prevent people from getting a disease in the first place.

The post goes on to report on a 2 May briefing by Fiona Braka, the officer in charge of the World Health Organization in Nigeria, to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.

In the briefing, Nigeria’s Punch news site reports, Braka said the country had expressed interest in taking part in a global “solidarity clinical trial, which was launched by WHO and some partners, to help find an effective treatment for Covid-19”.

Drug trial, not vaccine trial

Braka has since clarified her statement, noting that she was referring to clinical trials of drugs, not vaccines. 

“There is no vaccine available yet and Nigeria is not conducting any vaccine trials,” she told Africa Check.

“The country, along with other several countries in the world, will, however, be contributing information on drug treatments currently in use for Covid-19 to determine the most effective treatment options. This involves drugs already in use, such as antiviral drugs and chloroquine, that have been repurposed for Covid-19 treatment. This is not a vaccine trial.” – Allwell Okpi


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