Lai Mohammed, minister of information, has warned Nigerians against patronising hawkers of products described as COVID-19 vaccines.
At the presidential task force briefing on Tuesday, the minister said the vaccines, yellow in colour, being hawked in Kano, have not been certified.
“The federal ministry of information and culture and its agencies have put up a public enlightenment and advocacy campaign to continue to reach Nigerians with information on how they can protect themselves and avoid contracting the disease,” he said.
“This is necessary because in the absence of any vaccine or drug, non-pharmaceutical intervention remains the most effective way to contain the spread of the disease and protect Nigerians.
“By the way, you must ignore the vaccine being hawked in Kano which is called COVID-19 vaccine. It’s yellow in colour. It is not certified by anybody; please don’t patronise the hawkers.
“The campaign has, therefore, continued to focus on the need for the populace to adhere strictly to social distancing and mass gathering restrictions. Wear face masks and ensure good personal hygiene.”
He said the ministry has now rolled out a new set of television, radio jingles to further sensitise Nigerians.
The jingles, the minister said, are in English, Pidgin English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba are now running on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
“They are in the process of rolling them out on state and private radio and television stations across the country and also on social media. We have no choice since information remains the most potent tool that can be deployed against the virus today,” he said.
He also said the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has taken steps to prevent misinformation in broadcast stations by warning them to adhere strictly to the professional ethics of balance and fairness in reporting COVID-19.
He added that the commission, in particular, has warned the stations against bringing on their programmes panelists with an agenda to make reckless statements and insinuations.