UNICEF frowns against hesitancy and conspiracy on COVID-19 vaccines

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners have expressed deep concern over hesitancy, conspiracy, and unwillingness against Covid-19 vaccines despite all efforts by the government to bring the pandemic under control through importation and accessibility of the vaccines.

Olusoji Akinleye, UNICEF health specialist and officer in charge of Enugu field office, stated this at a one-day zonal media dialogue organised by UNICEF in collaboration with Broadcasting Corporation of Abia state on child Rights influenced reporting on COVID-19 in Enugu said such character was making efforts of government, partners and donors unreciprocated.

He noted, “Though considerable progress is being made by Federal government, UNICEF and other development agencies to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is brought under control through importation and accessibility of vaccines, we still face serious challenges in the areas of public’s hesitancy, unwillingness, and conspiracy against the COVID-19 vaccines.”

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Akinleye, a health specialist further stated that UNICEF and partners would continue to respond to the four COVID-19 response pillars adopted by the Nigerian government in line with NCDC’s guidelines by emphasising the imperative role of the media in the fight against COVID-19.

“UNICEF looks forward to more robust collaboration with the media and expected upward trend in for the promotion of health and Hygiene practice by media in Nigeria by daily communication to the public of protocols enforced by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reinforcement of useful messages on safe health practices such as increase hand washing, use of face-covering and social distancing.”

Obasi Chikezie, Community Medicine Department of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUT) trained the participants on the need to take the COVID-19 vaccines, convinced to a large extent, the efficacy and originality of the COVID-19 vaccines against their initial beliefs.

He said that vaccination is a lifesaver, which also was the theme of his topic.” COVID-19 vaccination lifesaver.”

Obasi called on Nigerians particularly those residing in Enugu state to freely access the vaccines in all the designated health facilities in the state.

He added that people from 18 years and above with greater emphasis on people from age 50 and above.

He condemned conspiracy theory carried against Covid-19 vaccines.

On the rule of the media Ijeoma Onuoha Ogwe, communication officer UNICEF Enugu office, appealed to the media to remind everyone of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, she said the media should not just report the topic but go in detail and use accurate data, and reliable source when reporting.

Agatha Nzeribe Education specialist UNICEF Enugu explained how the COVID-19 pandemic dealt with the education program of the country to extent that about a quarter of the education calendar was lost and that over 82 percent of the children affected does not have access to digital learning introduced by some schools.

She also explained some of the measures taken by UNICEF in schools to stop the spread of the pandemic such as wash handstands, sanitisers among others.

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