From Kenneth Chigozie, Jos
A Nigerian scientist and virologist, Dr. Clement Meseko has urged the public, especially the faith-based community to disregard the suspicions about the COVID 19 vaccines and theories that it contains sterile components or microchips.
Meseko, a researcher at the National Virology Research Institute in Jos, Plateau state noted that Nigerian scientists were also in the frontline in the production of vaccines: “It is ignorance to think that the COVID 19 vaccines contain sterile components or some kind of chips. Vaccines are God’s miracle to save humans,” he said.
He revealed that scientists in Nigeria also have the capacity to develop vaccines for Covid-19 as the country has developed 17 veterinary vaccines in the past and only needed more support to scale up the production. He also urged the faith-based community to get acquainted with the processes of vaccine production as it will reveal vaccines undergo a rigorous peer review process before it is released to the public.
The scientist also explained what vaccines are: “Vaccines are a product of what is causing the disease. For instance if I am developing a vaccine now, I use the very virus, the very bacteria, the very agent that is responsible for the infection to develop my vaccine. So, the method is that the agent that is causing the disease in its infectious state can cause a lot of havoc, so you will get that particular virus and if you inactive it, it means you render it incapable of causing infection.
“However, it is still like an antigen that the body will still recognize, so the body recognize it and produce antibodies against it, so that peradventure you are exposed to a similar infection in the future, the antibodies that has been produced in response to the stimulation by the noninfectious agent is there to prevent the infection from taking place.”
Some sections of the faith- based community in Nigeria are vehemently opposing the COVID 19 vaccines, spilling severe damage on the prospect of vaccinating about 70 % of the population in order to achieve the herd immunity status which is required to end new infections and the pandemic.
Meseko said the science community and the enlightened public has a role to play in constantly informing those spreading the anti-vaccine messages: “The call to reject the vaccine is out of ignorance, we have a duty as scientists to continue to enlighten people. I am a Christian and I have taken the COVID 19 vaccine,” he said.