By Martha Agas
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Plateau Council, recently held training for its members to educate them on the COVID-19 vaccine. Awareness has become necessary due to conspiracy theories, popularized since the COVID-vaccine. 19 became available worldwide and in Nigeria.
The training was designed to equip journalists as information managers with the appropriate information in order to adequately and correctly educate the population.
The training was facilitated by the Health Committee of the Maison de Assemblée du Plateau.
Mr. Daniel Listick, chairman of the parliamentary health committee who spoke, dispelled the rumor that the vaccine contains microarrays and changes the composition of DNA.
“The vaccine does not contain fleas as people say. People say the vaccine will change their DNA and cause infertility, there is no such thing, all of these myths are not true, ”he said.
He said building the capacity of journalists in partnership with the Chamber will play an important role in enhancing their reporting skills by disseminating appropriate information to the public about the disease.
“After taking the vaccine I was fine, but others may have reactions, there are experts on the ground who once that happens they know what to do,” he said.
In addition, various speakers during the launch of the COVID-19 vaccination in the Plateau, debunked the conspiracy theory and called on the population to make themselves available for vaccination.
Leading the pack, Governor Simon Lalong said conspiracy theories being propagated especially on social media are aimed at discouraging people from accepting the vaccine.
Lalong said that he, the wife, his deputy, religious and traditional leaders, have taken the vaccine to lead by example and dispel fears of the various myths associated with it.
“It is important to note that the vaccine has been approved by the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization, based on global clinical trials, involving 23,000 participants.
“In addition, Nigerian regulatory bodies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have evaluated the vaccines upon arrival in the country.
“All of these evaluations concluded that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective.
“Let me repeat that no one will be forced to take the vaccine because the administration is completely voluntary.
“However, I would like to remind our citizens that the law criminalizing the refusal of COVID-19 in Plateau State is still in effect.
“Therefore, those who want to engage in the dissemination of conspiracy theories and mobilize others against taking the vaccine will not be allowed.
“I want to reassure our people that as your governor, I will not endorse anything that may harm you or affect your well-being, but my number one priority is to ensure your safety and good health,” a- he declared.
Rev. Fr. Polycarp Lubo, the State President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who spoke, said those with COVID-19 disease can testify to the hardships they have experienced.
He said the arrival of the NAFDAC-certified vaccine will address the challenges posed by the scourge.
“We must encourage people who are in doubt to come and get vaccinated. I think vulnerable people should be considered first, ” he said.
Likewise, the President of the State of Jama’atu Nasril Islam, Alhaji Muhammadu Muhammadu, said he received the vaccine to demonstrate his leadership by example.
He denounced the proliferation of a lot of misleading information about the vaccine and assured the government that leaders will continue to support their policies and programs.
Professor Edmund Banwat, chief medical director of Jos University Hospital (JUTH), said the vaccine given to political leaders was a bold step to challenge myths surrounding the vaccine and show that it is safe.
“If it’s not sure, these political leaders would not be using themselves to get the vaccine. The vaccine is essential to end the pandemic, ” he said.
Mr. Williams Wadzingi, Plateau Coordinator, World Health Organization (WHO), said awareness is key to successful vaccination.
Dr Innocent Emmanuel, president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Plateau section, who spoke in an interview, said the COVID-19 disease has resulted in loss of life, devastated communities and caused so much havoc on the economy. the vaccine is essential to winning the war against the disease. ”
He explained that the vaccine was initially controversial, prompting some countries to stop its use, but the situation was resolved in the affected countries.
“It has now been confirmed that the vaccine is safe, the problem of blood clots previously associated with the vaccine has been proven to be false.
“Countries have already agreed that the vaccine should be re-administered to their populations.
“The United Nations said it was safe and it has been tested and even countries that had problems with the vaccine have now agreed that people can be vaccinated,” he said.
Emmanuel urged the government to involve critical stakeholders, especially community and religious leaders, to make sure people get information about the vaccine.
The president said visits to schools to enlighten students and media engagement at all levels will help dispel vaccine myths.
He said the vaccine was a relief, but not without its challenges.
The coordinator said the government involving CSOs in disease and vaccine awareness campaigns would have the desired impact, as rural people perceive the disease as a “city problem”. (NANFeatures)
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