UNICEF is calling on all Nigerians to deviate from spreading fake information and rumour about COVID-19 vaccine.
The Child right body made the disclosure at a media dialogue on immunization (RI and COVID-19 vacination)
UNICEF Communication for Development Specialist, Elizabeth Onitolo, emphasized on the need for media to dispel myths and misconception that is associated with COVID-19 vaccine.
” We want all Nigerians to see the Corona virus as one of diseases ravaging the world, and stop discriminating people with the virus. There is need for Nigerians to take necessary precautions so as not to contact Corona virus”.
While speaking on the issues of rumours , she said UNICEF Nigeria, conducted risk assessment rumour in some states, and found out that some information were preventing people from accessing COVID-19 vaccines.
“It is essential for media practitioners to always create awareness that will dispel all the rumours that are spread by people all over the country.
Nigerians need to be proactive and ensure that everyone has the right information to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus”.
UNICEF Communication Officer, Maiduguri field office, Folasade Adebayo, spoke on the need for media to increase knowledge and awareness to the citizen on COVID-19 vaccines.
“The media practitioners need to ensure that the right information is passed across to the citizen. There is an urgent need to counter disinformation, misinformation and rumour among the people.
When people have access to the right information, they will take the right decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccine”.
She added that different team members were assigned to support COVID-19 strategy in different parts of the country
She added that UNICEF is working with Traditional leaders to ensure that people in the rural communities have access to COVID -19 vaccines.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Toye Falayi, said there is urgent need for address immunization situation in Nigeria.
He added that even though the country had been certified Wild Polio Free, routine immunization need to be strengthened.
“We need to increase access and uptake of routine immunization of children across the country. COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in reducing the number of children immunized against Polio.
We are leveraging on the media to promote messages on prevention of COVID-19. We want to increase uptake of vaccination for under 5 children.”