Centre for Information Technology And Development (CITAD)/MacArthur Foundation through one of its Implementing Partners in Plateau State, Friday Bako a Blogger and Social Media Influencer has engaged young Influencers on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 Vaccine in the State.
The engagement was part of the CITAD/MacArthur Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine public education project.
Speaking on the objectives of the Town Hall Meeting which held at Greatlinks Continental Suites Hall Gold & Base Jos, Plateau State on Friday 27th April, 2022, Friday Bako disclosed that the engagement was aimed at interfacing with Influencers to sensitize them on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines, build the participants who were carefully selected from various communities as Ambassadors who will help in creating more awareness about the vaccines to the public especially marginalized group and those who are yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the aim of increasing the uptake in the State.
He charged the public to ensure they are vaccinated in order not to go down with the virus.
“The role of youth influencers in society cannot be overlooked as they offer wider coverage, especially coming from communities where information dissemination is poor.
“The sensitization will help build them as ambassadors and when they go back to their communities, they will step down what they have heard about the COVID-19 vaccine and make sure that there is a wide level of acceptability” he said.
He urged the youths to stand up and combat the fake news and misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines using the various social media platforms and other forms of community engagements that will address hesitancy and increase COVID-19 Vaccine uptake.
He appreciated CITAD & MacArthur Foundation for their funding support for the project and for ensuring the people get informed about COVID-19 Vaccines so they can be vaccinated and be safe.
While addressing the Participants, Mr. Tobias Chief, a public Health Practitioner, Expert in Vaccines production and Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist with the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom Plateau State said all the vaccines in circulation have undergone the required trials and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) which is concerned with global public health for emergency and full use.
According to him, the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine is not in doubt.
He said technology made the production of the vaccine easier compared to other vaccines in the past that took over 10 Years.
He said health experts globally worked tirelessly and collectively to ensure vaccines are produced very fast to contain the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Sharing his experience on the Vaccine, a Political Scientist and Researcher, Mr. Mishael Nungkop hinted that the fears and misconception about the COVID-19 Vaccines are unnecessary saying having been vaccinated, he witnessed the adverse reaction which he said is normal as in the case of other vaccinations he had in the past.
He decried the spreading of fake and incorrect narratives about the COVID-19 Vaccines by people who have no knowledge about issue concerning the pandemic and vaccines produced to help in containing the devastating impact of the Virus.
He called on the participants not to be purveyors of fake news and information, instead get information from trusted sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and other health experts to get accurate information.
Domichit Lannap, Simi Emmanuel, Geoffrey Bulus and Monica Noro Pam who were participants lauded the initiative saying they are better enlightened on the safety and effectiveness of the virus
Some of the participants said they will take the vaccines having gotten the right information and encourage others to take same as Ambassadors.
They commended CITAD/MacArthur Foundation who through its Implementing Partner is working to ensure the right information gets to people and to achieve increase in the COVID-19 Vaccine uptake in the State and Nation.
The town hall meeting also featured a drama on COVID-19 Pandemic and Vaccines.
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