Claim: The COVID-19 vaccine is deadly and has not been duly tested

Source: Bishop David Oyedepo

Verdict: FALSE

Researched by Rabiu Alhassan

As of May 10, 2021, there have been more than 157 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, including more than 3.2 million deaths, data from the World Health Organisation(WHO) has showed.

More than one year after the start of the pandemic, vaccines to protect against the coronavirus are being administered amid a wave of mis/disinformation. However, according to the WHO, more than 1.2m vaccine doses have been administered globally.

But there are concerns that vaccine hesitancy due to the spread of various COVID-19 conspiracies could slow the race to defang the virus.

The fastest any vaccine had previously been developed, from viral sampling to approval, was four years, for mumps in the 1960s. This, among many other concerns, has been a running theme in the several conspiracy theories and mis/disinformation being shared about the COVID-19 vaccines.

 

Pastor Oyedepo

A popular Nigerian pastor David O. Oyedepo has cautioned members of his congregation not to take the COVID-19 vaccine because “it has not been duly tested” and is “a deadly thing.”

The General Overseer of the Living Faith Church International (Winners Chapel) speaking on Sunday, May 9 during the church’s 40th-anniversary thanksgiving service said: “Let me warn you against this deadly thing circulated round the country. It has not been duly tested. An elder of this church who works with the WHO confirmed this, thanking me for always speaking the truth about the authenticity of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

His comments in the last 24 hours have been republished by several online platforms (here, here, here, here, and here) and generated more than ten thousand Facebook interactions- leading content discovery and social monitoring platform for publishers and brands, CrowdTangle has showed.

𝙎𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙘𝙚: 𝘾𝙧𝙤𝙬𝙙𝙏𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙡𝙚

 

Fact-Check

“COVID-19 vaccines save lives. They also protect people against severe illness from the virus and are a key tool in helping to end the pandemic. We are not aware of the unnamed WHO staff member allegedly quoted in this piece. All COVID-19 vaccines with WHO Emergency Use Listing are deemed to be safe and effective.” The WHO Africa Infodemic Response Alliance secretariate has said in response to the claim.

There are strict protections in place to help ensure the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines. Before receiving validation from WHO and national regulatory agencies, COVID-19 vaccines must undergo rigorous testing in clinical trials to prove that they meet internationally agreed benchmarks for safety and effectiveness.

Safety trials begin in the lab, with tests and research on cells and animals first, before moving on to human studies

“Along with COVID-19 vaccines, mask-wearing, regular hand-cleaning, and safe social distancing, particularly at larger gatherings, will also save lives and protect people from the virus.” The WHO emphasized.

 

Verdict

The claims that the COVID-19 vaccine has not been duly tested and is “a deadly thing” are FALSE.