The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has lamented that public hesitancy, unwillingness and conspiracies against COVID-19 vaccine is making efforts of government and partners to vaccinate Nigerians difficult.
UNICEF health specialist and officer in charge of Enugu field office, Dr Olufemi Adeyemi stated this yesterday, in Enugu at a national media dialogue with select journalists on demand creation for COVID-19 vaccine.
The two-day workshop was organised by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF to advocate to governments to provide logistics and operation support for the delivery of the vaccine, amongst others.
Adeyemi said although considerable progress is being made by Federal Government of Nigeria, UNICEF and other development agencies to ensure the spread of COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control.
the country still face serious challenges in the areas of public’s hesitancy, unwillingness and conspiracies against the COVID-19 vaccine.
He commended UNICEF and partners for recognising the active role media has continued to play right from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring correct and timely messages about the pandemic is disseminated to the public while at same time, enabling rapid and wide spread reach of public health information.
“We have continued to see an upward trend for the promotion of health and hygiene practices by media in Nigeria, by daily communication to the public of protocols enforced by the government to prevent spread of
COVID-19, reinforcement of useful messages on safe health practices such as increased hand washing, use of face coverings, and social distancing”.
“UNICEF and partners will continue to respond to the four COVID-19 response pillars adopted by Nigerian government in line with NCDC’s guidelines by emphasizing the imperative role of the mass media in today’s fight against COVID-19 with huge reliance on that fact through levels of concerted collaborations with media and related communication outlets for reinforcement of messages on equal access to healthcare, ending discrimination, and social stigmatization by providing daily updates to public on ways to combat the pandemic and remain safe,” he said.
UNICEF communication specialist, Geoffrey Njoku said the workshop was to create demand for the uptake of COVID-19 vaccine while saying that there is conspiracy theory for everything especially, when it pertains to vaccine.
The commissioner for health, Dr Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi, represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr Ifeanyi Agujiobi said the state is well positioned to give the necessary support against the COVID-19 pandemic.