INEC Chairman Takes First Jab Of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday received his first jab of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, joining hundreds of Nigerians who have been vaccinated against the disease. 

Photos of the vaccination were shared by the electoral body on its official Twitter handle.

“Hon. Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu receives first jab of COVID-19 Vaccine,” the commission said.

Also, INEC’s National Commissioner and IVEC Chairman, Festus Okoye Esq, got his first dose of the COVID-19 jab.

Photo: [email protected] Nigeria

 

“National Commissioner and IVEC Chairman, Festus Okoye Esq receives first jab of COVID-19 Vaccine,” read another tweet.

On Tuesday, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said 638,291 eligible people have taken their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

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In its latest update, the NPHCDA said more people have continued to receive the vaccine jabs across all states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), except in Kogi State where authorities have yet to commence vaccination.

The latest figure indicates that 124,665 more eligible people took the vaccine jabs in the last two days, following the 513,626 total figure that was reported on Sunday.

It also shows an increase of 6.2 per cent of the proportion vaccinated, compared with the 25.5 per cent earlier reported.

A further breakdown of the figure reveals that Lagos has the highest number of eligible people who have taken the vaccine jabs with a total of 122,714.

The south-west state, which is described as the epicentre of the pandemic in Nigeria, maintains its status as the only state to have surpassed the 100,000 mark.

Political Rivals In Brazil Announce Homemade COVID-19 Vaccines

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 06, 2021, a health worker administers a vaccine dose at a drive-through vaccination center at the Sambodrome Rio Carnival venue, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. CARL DE SOUZA / AFP

 

The race to produce the first Covid-19 vaccine that is “100 percent Brazilian” was launched on Friday with more than a hint of political posturing.

Sao Paulo’s Butantan biomedical institute announced in the morning it is developing a vaccine and expects to start using it in July.

Several hours later a minister said President Jair Bolsonaro’s government had submitted a request for authorization to start clinical trials on a different vaccine.

Butantan is the largest vaccine producer in Brazil and makes the CoronaVac shot produced by Chinese firm Sinovac — the most widely used against the pandemic in the South American country.

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The institute is also heavily backed by Sao Paulo state governor Joao Doria, who is widely expected to challenge Bolsonaro in next year’s general election.

“The results in pre-clinical tests were excellent,” said Butantan director Dimas Covas.

The vaccine needs to be authorized by Brazil’s regulator Anvisa before it can start clinical trials in April.

Bolsonaro seems to be one step ahead of Doria in that respect, though.

His science and research minister, Marcos Pontes, a former astronaut, announced the federal government had “invested” in several Brazilian vaccines and had already requested authorization to begin clinical trials for one of them.

That one has been developed by the Ribeiro Preto faculty of medicine in Sao Paulo.

Pontes said the government will soon seek authorization for clinical trials for two more vaccines.

“It must be a coincidence that (Doria) presented this other possibility in Sao Paulo, and it’s good for the country, we need several national vaccines,” said Pontes.

Brazil has faced a shortfall in vaccine doses due to import delays at the worst possible time, with record numbers of daily infections and deaths registered this week.

It has now recorded 12.3 million cases — 300,000 of them fatal — among its 212 million population.

The country only began vaccinating in mid-January. Other than CoronaVac, the only other authorized jab is AstraZeneca.

But the competing projects should allow Brazil to accelerate its vaccine rollout that has been widely criticized for being slow.

Butantan will be able to produce 40 million doses from May to July and 100 million by the end of the year, Doria said.

While the CoronaVac shot is produced using imported materials, ButanVac will be “a vaccine entirely developed and produced in Brazil,” added Doria.

ButanVac, which will also be produced in Thailand and Vietnam and distributed to poorer countries, “is the response to those that deny science and life,” said Doria, in a barb at Bolsonaro.

The far-right leader spent months downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus. He opposed preventative measures such as mask-wearing, restrictions on the economy, and even cast doubt on the efficacy of CoronaVac.

AFP

COVID-19: Over 400m Doses Of Vaccines Administered Globally – Tally

Anya Harris prepares a Moderna coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at Red Hook Neighborhood Senior Center in the Red Hood neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough on February 22, 2021. AFP

 

More than 400 million doses of vaccines have been given around the world as of Thursday, acccording to an AFP tally.

Despite the suspension of the AstraZeneca shot in more than a dozen countries, vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 continue to pick up speed, the count based on official sources found.

In a sign of how the pace is picking up, the last 100 million people vaccinated got their jabs in 11 days — six times faster than it took to give the first 100 million.

By Thursday at 1630 GMT at least 402.3 million doses had been administered in more than 158 countries around the world.

File photo: Nurse Janete Da Silva Oliveira prepares a dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the Nossa Senhora Livramento community on the banks of the Rio Negro near Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil on February 9, 2021. MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP

 

While rich countries have fared best, vaccination in the poorer countries is at last starting under the free Covax programme.

– Israel goes further ahead –
Israel is still leading the race by far, with nearly three out of five of its population having received at least one dose. Around a half of Israeli have received a second dose.

The United Kingdom (38 percent), the United Arab Emirates (between 35 and 70 percent), Chile (28 percent), the United States (22 percent), Bahrain (22 percent) and Serbia (16 percent by March 12) are also doing well.

In terms of pure numbers, the US is way ahead with 113 million jabs given before China with 65 million (as of March 14), India (39 million) and the UK with 27.6 million.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Why Have Some Countries Paused The AstraZeneca Jab?

European Union countries have given 54.4 million doses to 8.5 percent of the bloc’s population.

– Poorer countries now benefit  –
Out of 13 of the poorest countries which have started their vaccination campaigns, nine started in early March using vaccines delivered for free under the Covax scheme launched by the World Health Organization, the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Cepi coalition.

Only 0.1 percent of the doses injected around the world were were given in these poor countries, home to nine percent of the global population. In contrast, the richest countries — which have 16 percent of humanity — have had 58 percent of the doses. More than a quarter of all doses given so far (28 percent) were in the US.

– AstraZeneca in lead –
The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has already been administered in some 100 countries or territories, outshining its competitors.

 

In this file photo taken on February 12, 2021 a vial containing the Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table in the pharmacy of the vaccination center at the Robert Bosch hospital in Stuttgart, southern Germany.  THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP

 

Although low cost, it is being widely used in richer countries such as the UK and the EU as well as in poorer countries, thanks to the Covax scheme.

It is also being administered in India, where it is also made. The Swedish-British vaccine has however been dogged by problems, after blood clots were observed in a number of vaccinated people. But the EU regular said Thursday that it was not linked to an increased risk of blood clots.

– Where jabs are being used –
The vaccines produced by US-German Pfizer/BioNTech — which is being used in more than 70 countries — and the American Moderna, used in more than 40, are more expensive and harder to store. They are mainly used in the rich countries.

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, in use in more than 20 countries, and China’s Sinopharm and Sinovac jabs — which are used in 20 and a dozen countries respectively — have been administered mostly in their home markets as well as emerging and developing countries.

The American Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the first to require just one dose, has been approved in the US, Canada and the EU but has so far only been rolled out in the US and South Africa.

AFP

People Are Dying Of COVID-19, Vaccines Should Not Be Stopped – NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Wednesday maintained that vaccinations against COVID-19 should not be stopped in Nigeria despite fears over the side effects of the jabs. 

Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of the agency who said this, believes that with the number of lives lost to the pandemic, halting the vaccination campaign in the country is not advisable.

“People are dying of COVID-19,” the NAFDAC boss said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. “The vaccines should not be stopped unless it is a statistically massive occurrence[side effects].”

Although many countries have halted the use of the AstraneZeneca vaccines over fears about possible side effects like blood clotting, Professor Adeyeye believes that the benefits of taking the jabs far outweigh such fear.

mojisola Adeyeye
The NAFDAC boss believes there is no need to stop the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

 

“It is knowing that these are serious but the benefits outweigh the risk,” she insisted, admitting, however, that there is a need for more engagement to know people’s reactions to drugs.

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She said the AstraZeneca vaccine is not the first to be used under emergency authorization, explaining that other COVID-19 vaccines have been reported to have had adverse effects on people who took the shots.

According to her, over five hundred persons have been vaccinated against the virus at the National Hospital in Abuja. But she said only about six persons had side effects like fever, chills, and pain.

“But we have not reported adverse events of serious nature or special interest,” she added, conceding, however, that it “may” happen later.

 

Nigeria was one of the first countries in Africa to have gotten doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Photo: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun.

Vaccination Drive 

Nigeria had on March 2nd received its first doses of the AstraZeneca jab, kickstarting the vaccination campaign which the government says is targeted at reaching 70 percent of the country’s population.

Since the country flagged off the vaccination drive on March 5th at the National Hospital in Abuja, many frontline health workers and government officials including President Muhammadu Buhari had taken the jabs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had urged countries to continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine after a host of European nations halted its usage.

READ ALSO: Rwanda’s Kagame First East African Leader To Take COVID-19 Jab

“We do not want people to panic and we would, for the time being, recommend that countries continue vaccinating with AstraZeneca,” WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a press briefing.

Despite fears that people may not be willing to take the vaccine, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said Nigerians are eager to take the shots.

“I can tell you that there is a lot of excitement [about the vaccine arrival]. I know some people have their concerns and we are trying but I want to give you an example of the enthusiasm that Nigerians are showing around wanting to take these vaccines,” the Executive Director of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said.

“Around midday on Monday when we launched the e-registration platform, in less than 24 hours, we already had up to 2.3m Nigerians who had registered. And that number continues to increase.”

Surplus COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be Shared, Adesina Tells Global Leaders

Anya Harris prepares a Moderna coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at Red Hook Neighborhood Senior Center in the Red Hood neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough on February 22,

 

The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina on Sunday called on global leaders to share surplus COVID-19 vaccines among nations.

Adesina, a former Minister of Agriculture in a Twitter thread on his official handle, noted that the world needs solidarity to beat the dreaded virus which has been contracted by millions across the globe.

“The world community needs strong vaccine solidarity, fairness and vaccine justice,” the AfDB leader began. “Globally, we should share surplus vaccines. Doing otherwise is like protecting one’s house alone in the midst of a raging forest fire in the neighborhood.”

 

While reiterating that COVID-19 does not discriminate, Adesina maintained that working together is the surest way to beat the disease.

“Protecting the global neighborhood protects all the neighbors,” he added. “Let’s all love our neighbors as ourselves.”

President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina delivered a virtual lecture on Nigerian restructuring on February 23, 2021.
President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina delivered a virtual lecture on Nigerian restructuring on February 23, 2021.

 

Vaccine Ban

As countries continue to roll out vaccination programmes against COVID-19, there appears to be a loss of faith in the AstraZeneca jab. A number of countries including Italy, Austria, among others, have suspended the use of the vaccine over fears of blood clotting.

Ireland on Sunday became the latest country to halt the administration of the vaccine, following reports of blood clots in adults who received the shot in Norway.

“The administration of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is temporarily deferred from this morning, Sunday 14th March,” a health ministry spokesman told AFP.

The move came after Ireland’s National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) recommended suspending the AstraZeneca rollout “on the precautionary principal” after “a report from the Norwegian Medicines Agency of four new reports of serious blood clotting events in adults after vaccination”.

“It has not been concluded that there is any link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the blood clot cases and action has been taken “pending receipt of further information”, Ireland’s deputy chief medical officer Ronan Glynn said in a statement.

The NIAC is due to meet on Sunday morning and to issue a further statement on the matter.

Some 570,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Ireland to date, according to government data last updated Wednesday.
A total of 109,000 of those doses have been manufactured by the Anglo-Swedish pharma giant AstraZeneca.

READ ALSO: Rwanda’s Kagame First East African Leader To Take COVID-19 Jab

An AstraZeneca spokesman said the “an analysis of our safety data that covers reported cases from more than 17 million doses of vaccine administered has shown no evidence of an increased risk” in blood clot conditions.
“In fact, the reported numbers of these types of events for COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are lower than the number that would have occurred naturally in the unvaccinated population,” a statement added.

Oyo State Receives 127, 740 Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccines

A file photo of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde. Credit: Oyo State Government.
A file photo of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde. Credit: Oyo State Government.

 

The Oyo State government has received 127, 740 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA), Abuja.

The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, announced in a statement on Thursday that the vaccines were received in Ibadan, the state capital by the Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board.

The statement added that the Executive Secretary of the Board, Muideen Olatunji, said that 127,740 doses of the vaccines received is part of the first phase of vaccine distribution.

READ ALSO: Zamfara Receives 55,920 Doses Of AstraZeneca Vaccines

“The state has received 127, 740 COVID-19 vaccines dispatched from Abuja by the NPHDA on behalf of the Federal Government,” Olatunji said, adding that the vaccines were received in good condition and that they have also been kept in appropriate cold rooms.

He added that the state government has commenced the training of health professionals who will administer the vaccines to residents of Oyo State.

“We have very strong cold rooms and we cannot even use up to one-third of the capacity in the state.

“We have already commenced the training of health workers, who will administer the vaccines. Next week, we will equally conduct the training at the local government levels.

“We will push the vaccines to the 33 local governments where they will be kept under appropriate conditions,” he said.

El-Rufai, Deputy, Others Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Governor El-Rufai after taking the vaccine told journalists that the vaccine has no side effects

 

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Wednesday publicly took his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine with an appeal to the people of the state to still observe all the safety guidelines against the virus.

The Governor was vaccinated by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Health, Amina Baloni.

Among the top government officials that took the vaccine alongside the Governor are the Deputy Governor, Hadiza Balarabe, and the Senators representing Kaduna Central and Kadina North respectively, Uba Sani and Suleiman Abdul-Kwari.

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The Governor after taking the vaccine told journalists that the vaccine has no side effects on him and encouraged everyone to take it.

Kaduna Deputy Governor, Hadiza Balarabe receiving the vaccine.

 

He also disclosed that in administering the COVID-19 vaccines in Kaduna State,  priority will be given to frontline health workers,  teachers, and senior citizens.

The governor expressed hope that all citizens of the state would have been vaccinated by the end of next year.

According to the governor, the emergence of the vaccine does not signal the end of observing the COVID-19 safety protocols in the state.

El-Rufai stressed that mask-wearing and social distancing will continue until everybody is vaccinated.

Kwara, Ondo, Benue Receive COVID-19 Vaccines

Officials receive COVID-19 vaccines at Akure airport, Ondo State capital.

 

The distribution of doses of COVID-19 vaccines continues across the country as Kwara, Ondo, and Benue State took delivery of the vaccines on Tuesday evening.

The Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Primary Health Services, Nusirat Elelu took delivery of the vaccines on behalf of the state government.

He assured that the front-line health workers and traditional rulers will be first considered in the administration of the vaccine.

READ ALSO: You Have Two Months To Surrender Your Arms, Zamfara Governor Warns Bandits

Elelu while receiving the consignment at Ilorin international airport said this will ensure confidence in citizens to allow themselves to be vaccinated.

She added that the State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, will also be vaccinated soon but the exact number of the vaccines received cannot be ascertained now until after sorting it out.

Officials receive COVID-19 vaccines at Ilorin, Kwara State capital.

 

In Ondo State, the vaccines were brought in through the Akure Airport and received by officials of the Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency.

The State Epidemiologist, Stephen Fagbemi told Channels Television that the state Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu will flag off the distribution of the vaccines later on Wednesday.

Benue State Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Orientation, Ngunnan Addingi.

 

In Benue State, 50,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were received.

The Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Orientation,  Ngunnan Addingi disclosed the figure to journalists after the state executive council meeting.

She added that the administration of the vaccines is not compulsory but encouraged residents to take advantage of the availability to get vaccinated.

 

Lagos Govt Receives COVID-19 Vaccines

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Oreoluwa Finnih, shared a photo of the delivery of the vaccines on Twitter.

 

The Lagos State government has received doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the Federal Government.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Tuesday at an event held at Police College in Ikeja, but he did not reveal the figure of vaccine doses delivered to the state.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day.

In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu revealed that the state government received the vaccines at about 4am on Tuesday, noting that they have been kept in a safe place.

He assured the people of the state that the government would soon commence the vaccination exercise.

The governor stated that this would be carried out in line with the scheduled guidelines laid down by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He, therefore, appealed to the residents to continue to keep to all the COVID-19 protocols such as wearing of facemasks, washing and sanitising their hands, as well as observing social distancing.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Oreoluwa Finnih, shared a photo and a video of the delivery of the vaccines on Twitter.

 

Nigeria took delivery of about four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines last week, as part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to the country in batches over the next few months.

The vaccines were provided by COVAX, in an unprecedented global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

On Saturday last week, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, received their first shots of the vaccines.

Both leaders took the vaccine jabs publicly at the State House in Abuja, in the presence of some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Insecurity Won’t Stop COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution In Rural Areas — Ogun Gov

We have installed a solar-powered cold chain for the #COVID19 vaccines – Dapo Abiodun

 

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun says security challenges will not stop those at the grassroots from getting COVID-19 vaccines.

The governor who disclosed this in a series of tweets on Thursday added that the state will soon launch the Western Security Network, codenamed Amotekun Corps, as a measure to address the challenges.

“At the meeting, we held with all Ogun State’s 20 Local Government Transition Chairmen earlier today, I disclosed this as I expressed confidence that the recent security challenges that is gradually phasing out will not stop the vaccine from getting to the grassroots.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Osinbajo To Take COVID-19 Vaccine On Saturday

“Specifically, two major measures are being put in place to address insecurity and access to remote areas.

“In addition to the Peace Committee, we will first launch the Amotekun security outfit in Yewa in the coming weeks. We will also rehabilitate the Papalanto-Ilaro Road, as well as construct link roads in other areas,” the governor said.

Abiodun also revealed the state’s readiness for the arrival of the vaccines, saying it has installed a solar-power cold chain.

“We have installed a solar-powered cold chain for the #COVID19 vaccines that have now arrived in Nigeria, and will be prioritising frontline healthcare workers in its administration.”

 

 

Two days after Nigeria received the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said  the country will commence the vaccination against COVID-19 on Friday, March 5.

The Executive Director of NPHCDA Dr Faisal Shuaib announced this on Thursday at a presidential briefing held at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He revealed that the government would kick-off the exercise at the National Hospital in Abuja where the frontline health workers there would be the first set of people to be vaccinated.

Shuaib also hinted that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, would also take their vaccine shots a day after the health workers were administered the vaccines.

Nigeria Receives First Batch Of COVID-19 Vaccines

 

Nigeria has received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines.

The NAFDAC-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, around noon on Tuesday, via an Emirates airline.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had said on Saturday that Nigeria will receive its first tranche of about 4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines.

 

 

On the ground to take delivery of them were top government officials including the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha; the Minister for Health, Osagie Ehanire; the Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed; and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Chikwe Ihekweazu.

Speaking last week, the Health Minister had noted that also noted that once the vaccines arrive in the country, about 70% of the population is expected to be inoculated within two years.

 

Top government officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport to receive the vaccines on March 2, 2021.

 

“We have been told to open an account with Afreximbank under the African Union; we have done that already successfully because we are going to pay for that part of the vaccine. The COVAX vaccine is free, at no cost to us, it is made from donations,” Mr Ehanire said.

“We want to immunise about 60 to 70% of our population. If COVAX immunises 20, then we have about 40 to 50 to immunise within the next two years. So, we have to pay for that minus any donations that we get like the MTN donation, for example, all those ones reduce the quantities that we have to purchase or any other that in future are given to us free of charge.

The minister made the comments on February 24, the same day that Ghana became the first country to receive vaccines from COVAX- a global scheme to procure and distribute Covid inoculations for free for poorer countries.

The 600,000 doses delivered to Ghana were the Oxford/AstraZeneca formula, made under license by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India.

Meanwhile, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency on Monday announced that Nigerians can now register for the COVID-19 vaccination via its website.

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“To register for #COVID19 Vaccination, visit our website http://nphcda.gov.ng and click on ‘COVID-19 Vaccination e-registration,” the agency said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, noted that frontline health workers would be one of the first set of people to get the vaccine.

“The first will be the frontline health workers because they are facing the battle heavily,” he said. “They will come first then, secondly, we will look at the elderly – those above 60, 65 years and particularly with comorbidities (people who have existing health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease – they will also be in that group.

“We will also be looking and the strategic leadership of the country, and then we would be looking at some other people like those at the point of entry, border post managers, and things like that; This will be the order in terms of priority for now.”

Twitter To Block Users Who Persist With COVID-19 Lies

In this file photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile phone on May 27, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file photo illustration, a Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile phone on May 27, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

 

 

Twitter said Monday it will start labeling misleading tweets about COVID-19 vaccines and boot users who persist in spreading such misinformation.

The one-to-many messaging service introduced a “strike system” that will gradually escalate to a permanent ban after the fifth offending tweet.

“We believe the strike system will help to educate the public on our policies and further reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Twitter,” the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post.

“Particularly for repeated moderate and high-severity violations of our rules.”

Twitter users will be notified when a tweet is labeled as misleading or needs to be removed for breaking the platform’s rules, earning a strike, according to the company.

The second and third strikes will each result in the violating account being blocked for 12 hours.

With a fourth violation, an account will be sidelined for seven days. A fifth strike will get accounts permanently suspended, Twitter said.

Twitter late last year began calling on users to remove dangerously misleading Covid-19 claims, including suggestions that vaccines are used to harm or control people.

The service also targeted baseless claims about adverse effects of vaccines or questioning the reality of the pandemic.

Since then, Twitter has removed more than 8,400 tweets and notified some 11.5 million accounts worldwide about violations of its Covid-19 information rules.

The strike system is similar to what Twitter applies to election-related misinformation, which led to former US president Donald Trump being permanently banned for repeated violations, including language that the platform said could incite violence and questioning the integrity of the voting process.

Covid-19 vaccination campaigns are taking place in many countries in an effort to keep people healthy and return to pre-pandemic lifestyles.

YouTube and Facebook are among the online platforms that have taken steps to fight the spread of lies about the pandemic and vaccines.