Claim: Nigerian students refuse COVID-19 vaccine by jumping off a two-storey school building
Source: Viral WhatsApp video and audio
Researched by Nii Larte Lartey
A viral 30-second-long video showing several students jumping off the first floor of a two-storey school building is being depicted as showing how students refused COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria.
An audio note which is being passed around together with the video on WhatsApp has someone speaking in pidgin English who cautions the public against COVID-19 vaccines.
The speaker who was running commentary on what was happening in the 30-second-long video partly said: “Many students are jumping from the school building. You see this thing they call corona [Coronavirus]. This is the vaccine they bring in Nigeria in one of the biggest schools… They bring this vaccine to give it to these students and that is why you see many of them jumping to run away. These people said none of the black people die from this corona, so this is why they want to kill lots of people from this corona.”
Two questions we seek to answer
- Whether the video is being accurately represented?
- Whether Nigeria has started vaccinating its citizens?
What immediately raises suspicion about the claim is that none of the students seen running was wearing a facemask; a safety protocol that has become mandatory amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Using the Invid video verification tool, it was found that the video emerged sometime in May 2019 and has nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria.
The video shows a stampede that ensued following the detonation of a tear gas canister at a community secondary school, Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria and has featured in a news report by TVC News Nigeria which was published on their verified YouTube channel on May 27, 2019.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has not started COVID-19 vaccination because the country is yet to receive the more than 16 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford (AZ/SII) COVID-19 vaccine allocated to the country under the COVAX programme.
The distribution of AZ/SII vaccines for the first half of 2021 to countries that signed up under COVAX’s advance market commitment will be in 2 batches with 35-40 percent of the allocation to be made available in the first quarter and the remaining 60-65 percent in the second quarter.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also assured that vaccination is safe and side effects from a vaccine are usually minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. More serious side effects are possible, but extremely rare.
The viral video is being mischaracterized and misrepresented and has nothing to do with efforts to administer COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria. The claims are false.