COVID-19: Christian Aid task Stakeholders on Vaccination
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Christian Aid (CAid) Nigeria, on Tuesday tasks stakeholders in Kaduna State on the need to tackle Covid-19 vaccination hesitancy among citizens.
CAid, Communication Specialist, Comrade Martins, in his remarks, noted that the stakeholders invited for the meeting represents important group of people in their various communities and that there is need for them to help in educating the on the importance of covid-19 vaccination.
Martins, made the call during a 1-day “Vaccination Advocacy Dialogue meeting with State Council of Chiefs, Religious groups, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Vulnerable Population, Women groups and relevant Government Agencies on Addressing Community Immunity through Vaccination in Kaduna State”.
According to him, the essence of putting bringing the stakeholders together was because they are influencer and that anything they say in their spaces are taken very seriously.
He added that the meeting also gives the opportunity to participants to identify issues that are responsible for covid-19 hesitancy and things government should do that they are not doing and how best they think they be done.
“Christian Aid’s ‘Tackling Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy’ project seeks to understand the barriers and motivators behind the uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine among youths aged 18 to 30 and faith and traditional leaders.
“Using evidence-based intervention, to promote vaccine acceptance and demand by addressing individual and social factors (myths, misconceptions and perceptions) acting as barriers to vaccine use. It will also address the forceful nature of government policy on vaccine uptake of the citizens.” He said.
The Communication Specialist, explained that the meeting was meant to address individual and social factors (myths, misconceptions and perceptions) acting as barriers to vaccine uptake. Build competent role models as vaccines champions, activate the peoples’ agency to demand for vaccine.
He enumerated some reasons for covid-19 vaccination hesitancy according to findings as; it’s efficacy and its inability to provide protection against all strains of the vaccine. Safety concern which revolved around lack of trust in the vaccine sources.
Lack of rigorous safety testing, the speed at which the vaccine was released; I.e developed within 1 year, possibility of receiving a fake vaccine, several conspiracy theories, fears of adverse effects and events.
Others are; disbelief over the existence of COVID-19 in Nigeria, poor knowledge of COVID-19 vaccine, belief that other preventive measures are enough protection, belief that the body’s immunity is strong enough against the virus. unpredictable consequences of messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine, amongst other reasons.
The stakeholders in their responses agreed that immunizations generally help people to develop strong immune system against diseases and also prevent vulnerability, protect against diseases and help people to live a healthy life.
They therefore signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Christian Aid to sensitive their communities on the importance of vaccination and need to be vaccinated.