Nigeria: TB Joshua Urges Nigerians to Accept Covid-19 Vaccine

(file photo).
21 January 2021

The founder of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), Temitope Joshua, has appealed to Nigerians to accept the approved COVID-19 vaccines as a way of ending the pandemic.

Mr Joshua, in a video made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, said he has received thousands of emails concerning the safety of the vaccines expected in the country by the end of January.

"Concerning the ongoing situation in the world, I have received thousands of emails on the COVID-19 vaccine," Mr Joshua said in the message broadcast on his Christian channel on Emmanuel TV.

The video and its content was sent to PREMIUM TIMES by a freelance journalist, Ihechukwu Njoku.

Mr Joshua noted that many conspiracy theories are surrounding the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.

He, however, said federal authorities are only making efforts to put an end to the pandemic which has claimed millions of lives worldwide.

"No doubt, there are many conspiracy theories surrounding this vaccine. However, my belief is that our governments are only trying to look for a way out of this very challenging situation, although there may be bad faith in certain quarters," he said.

"Many people have complained of some negative reactions but this is always the case with vaccines of this nature. I remember I used to have such reactions whenever I took chloroquine," he continued, citing his personal experiences.

"That does not mean chloroquine is bad. It works positively for many. At this time, our governments need our support and our cooperation - because the world is in a dilemma," he said.

Vaccines and controversy

The Nigerian government said it is expecting at least 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of January through the COVAX co-financing public-private facility.

Evidence on ground at the country's vaccine facility showed that there are three Ultra-cold freezers needed to store the vaccines when they finally arrive the country.

But health authorities have expressed fears over growing vaccines hesitancy caused by misinformation which leads to doubt of the efficacy of the vaccine.

One of such was recently demonstrated by a Nigerian governor discouraging people from taking the vaccines.

"... They want to use the (COVID-19) vaccines to introduce the disease that will kill you and us. God forbid!" Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State said in a video circulating on social media.

Aso Rock officials said both President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will take the COVID-19 vaccines live on TV to allay the growing vaccine hesitancy among Nigerians.

Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, who addressed journalists in Abuja after meeting with President Buhari recently said he and his colleagues will also take the vaccines on live television. "We too will like to demonstrate to our citizens that we believe that vaccines would work," he said.

"Don't forget, we have a lot of experience on this. Governors Forum managed the polio vaccines administration in the country and we have garnered a lot of experience," said Mr Fayemi, the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum

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