Covid vaccines: the ironies of misinformation

Dr Maxwell Adeyemi -
Dr Maxwell Adeyemi -


The quest to get citizens vaccinated against the deadly covid19 virus has been met with some degree of resistance across the country and in many countries of the world. Many people are hesitant owing to many reasons which may range from religious beliefs, conspiracy theories, fears of the unknown, anti-vaxxer activities, and some just due to lack of accurate information and at times ignorance. Unfortunately, some are also due to blind followership of certain religious or community leaders.

Vaccine made too quickly

Much has been said about the vaccine technologies and how the vaccines were produced, many are erroneously following the narratives that the vaccines were hurriedly produced within a year and therefore cannot be safe.

The truth is that the technologies to make different types of vaccines have existed for many decades, many are continuously being tweaked and enhanced to improve them. The killed (inactivated) vaccine technology used to make Sinophram has been developed and used for about 70 years, the viral vector technology used for AstraZeneca has been in use for over 30 years. The protein particle or subunit technology by which the Cuban vaccine Abdala was developed has been around for about 50 years, while the mRNA technology the Pfizer and Moderna employed to make their vaccines has been developed for over 20 years.

In the process of making vaccines, three factors are vital: money to produce the vaccine, sharing of information across geographical regions and patient availability to do clinical trials. These factors will naturally slow down the pace at which vaccines are produced hence the school of thought that vaccines should take considerable length of time to produce. However, in the case of the covid vaccines, many governments and agencies pumped money into the search to get a vaccine due to the devastating nature of the pandemic.

Information sharing was much faster owing to present-day technology of sharing ideas as these can be achieved in minutes, and patient availability was in excess as millions of people were infected daily such that it was easy to get volunteers in real time for clinical trials. Since the technologies were already in place, many years of researches have tested the process. It was then easy to fit in the process with the missing links and expedite vaccine production. This is similar to the advent of cell phones, media platforms and apps. These pieces of technologies have been in existence for years, researched, fine-tuned, enhanced and modified over the past decade, and that has led to the boom in media and communication we all now enjoy with such degree of sophistication today.

Emergency authorisation

On the issue of emergency authorization, many people are led into confusion as to the meaning of this term.

Emergency use authorization is done with every drug or medications, and vaccines.

An emergency use authorization is a mechanism to facilitate the availability and use of medical countermeasures including vaccines and other drugs or devices during public health emergencies. Such use of unapproved medical products is allowed in an emergency to diagnose, treat or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met.

Emergency authorization is usually granted to all drugs in the first instance, with strict protocols followed and rigorous monitoring done before full approval is given, full approval is not granted until at least six months of emergency use that is accompanied by strict protocols and monitoring. The same process has been followed in covid19 vaccines without compromise, according to the World Health Organization.

Mandatory vaccination

Some people are also up in arms with the notion of mandatory vaccination, which when you think about it critically is not a new concept. A lot of people have taken vaccines that are mandatory in the past.

We all had to take mandatory vaccines in childhood going into primary schools to prevent polio, measles, rubella, mump, and diphtheria. That is still mandatory today.

Medical students and other university students have to take hepatitis and chicken pox vaccines before they start medical studies or allowed to live on campus.

Additionally, many travellers must take yellow fever vaccines before they can enter certain countries. Going to far away Australia or nearby Jamaica requires you to have yellow fever vaccine and you will have to show your international yellow fever vaccination as part of your travel documents.

Therefore, those pushing this agenda need to understand that there are already mandatory vaccines in existence for years and covid is not going to be the first if eventually the government opts to make it mandatory. It is rather ironic that those who took mandatory school vaccines, whose children and relatives took such vaccine to attend school, those who took yellow fever vaccines in order to travel are now making loud noises against the prospect of mandatory covid vaccines!

Unvaccinated healthcare worker

It is very concerning to hear of unvaccinated healthcare workers who believe in covid conspiracies, especially doctors, nurses, scientists who know – or should know – how the immune system works and the relevance of vaccines in disease prevention. It is akin to an oncologist who does not believe in chemotherapy or a surgeon who no longer believe in the effectiveness of colonoscopy in preventing colon cancer.

Many people are also refusing the vaccines and cannot cogently state why. They rely on third party old talk, information, misinformation and disinformation, google doctors, Facebook scientists, and clueless blabs from celebrities such as the one whose cousin's friend had a bad experience.

It is wise to seek credible information from credible sources to enhance your decision making, and the wise thing at this point is to get vaccinated.

Contact Dr Maxwell on 363-1807 or 757-5411.


"Covid vaccines: the ironies of misinformation"

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