Covid-19 vaccine misinformation feeds unease as first jabs arrive in Yemen
Rumours circulating on social media and by word of mouth fuel vaccine scepticism in a country in crisis
Deaths and infections from Covid-19 in Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, are surging.
So much so that Yemen’s Supreme National Emergency Committee for Covid-19, a body linked to the country’s internationally recognised government, recently urged authorities to declare a public health “state of emergency”.
Yemen received its first 360,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in late March from Covax, a global scheme to provide jabs to countries in need.
But Covid-19 is not the only thing spreading fast. Harmful rumours and misinformation are denting vaccine confidence. Many Yemenis are more worried about taking the vaccine than catching the virus. Some don’t believe Covid-19 is real at all.