Several months after the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccines arrived and were distributed for public use. The coming of these vaccines was a great deal of relief to global health.

The pandemic has claimed the lives of millions of people and ruined the world economy. The whole world has been in a rarely occurred lockdown. So far the plague has killed more than five million people worldwide while over 256 million people have contracted the virus

The virus was reported in Ethiopia on Mar 13, 2020, for the first time. Since then, the pandemic has turned the socio-economic and health systems upside down.

So far, more than 369,867 coronavirus cases and 6,662 deaths have been registered in the country.

Almost all countries on the face of the earth have been fiercely hit by waves of rapid transmission of the virus. Recent reports indicate that many countries are currently being victimized by the fourth wave of the pandemic. There are states that imposed new restrictive measures and even lockdowns fearing a new wave of transmission. The virus still poses a serious danger to the global healthcare system.

The first-ever Covid-19 vaccine rollout by Pfizer was approved in the UK on Dec 2, 2020, less than a year after the outbreak was officially reported in Wuhan, China, and was good news to the world. Since then various Covid-19 vaccines have been authorized by regulatory agencies to be rolled out for use. Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik are among the widely known and utilized vaccines.

Many donors are providing the country with Covid-19 vaccines. The vaccination program was launched on March 23, 2021. At first, there were limited amounts of vaccine doses. Frontline health workers, the elderly, and vulnerable people were given priority to be injected. But now, the government has announced that any person above the age of 18 can get vaccinated for free at public health centers.

However, there has been hesitancy within different sections of society to get vaccinated. These hesitancies are based on various reasons such as lack of sufficient knowledge about the vaccines or unidentified skeptical tendencies.

Many governmental and intergovernmental and research institutions have confirmed the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines. The vaccines are passed through clinical trials and given green lights by such credible organizations to be rolled out for public use.

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that currently approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and reduce the risk of severe illness.

Even vaccines are being developed and authorized to be given to children and teens, according to CDC.

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has for example authorized the usage of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccines. The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people who had a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose or already diagnosed allergy to the vaccines not get vaccinated. It also urges that people should get the second shot within three to four weeks intervals after the first shot.

The vaccines should be given within a two- to 12-week interval depending on the type of the vaccine.

All the ingredients in the vaccines are safe and found in many foods such as fats, sugar, and salts. The vaccines help the body produce an immune response.

A backdrop to the vaccine hesitancy and unfounded allegations that it may have microchips,  Covid-19 vaccines don’t contain any manufactured products like microelectronics, electrodes, carbon nanotubes, or other nanostructures, or nanowire semiconductors, CDC confirmed.

The CDC has stated that the vaccines may have some side effects such as pain, redness, and swelling in the arm,  tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body.

However, these side effects that occur within a day or two of getting the vaccine are normal signs and go away within a few days.

Ethiopia has so far administered over five million doses and 3.8 people have got vaccinated. However, this number is very small when it comes to the total population of the country. More is left to be done regarding vaccination programs.

Currently, there are 20 Covid-19 vaccines that are approved by at least one national regulatory agency for public use. The World Health Organization has also recognized the authorization of these vaccines. The arrival of Covid-19 vaccines has a great deal role in reducing the spread, severity, and death caused by the virus.

According to a recent report by the US CDC, unvaccinated people are five times more likely to be infected, ten times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die.

HaqCheck has learned that many credible governmental and intergovernmental organizations and agencies have confirmed that the vaccines that are authorized are safe and effective. HaqCheck encourages the public not to give attention to unfounded allegations that promote vaccine hesitancy and we promote people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Finally, we also encourage people to apply personal preventive measures along with the vaccination.


HaqCheck is a local multilingual fact-checking project based in Ethiopia, formed inside Addis Zeybe’s newsroom, now Inform Africa’s Counter Disinformation Project – a board-led Civil Society Organization (CSO) – dedicated to verifying media contents from social to the mainstream. HaqCheck works in collaboration with media outlets to monitor media contents in English and four local languages (Amharic, Afaan Oromo, Tigrigna, and Somali).

This report is produced with the support of UNESCO under the #CoronavirusFacts: Addressing the ‘Disinfodemic’ on COVID-19 in conflict-prone Environments that the UNESCO Addis Ababa Office is implementing in Ethiopia with financial support from the European Union (EU). The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO or the EU concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The ideas and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UNESCO or The European Union and do not commit these organizations in any way.

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