UNICEF, experts reaffirm efficiency of COVID-19 vaccines
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and medical experts in Nigeria have reaffirmed the efficiency of the COVID-19 vaccines and urged people to take the jabs as they save lives.
They gave the charge, yesterday, at a child rights bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF on media dialogue on-demand creation for COVID-19 vaccines in Enugu State.
The experts maintained that the vaccines were safe and that everyone should cooperate with the government and relevant health authorities by taking them to end the pandemic.
Officer in Charge of UNICEF, Enugu Field, Dr. Olufemi Adeyemi, said despite efforts by UNICEF, the Federal Government and its partners to ensure the spread of the pandemic was contained, public hesitancy, unwillingness and conspiracy against the COVID-19 vaccines still persisted.
He said UNICEF and its partners would continue to respond to the four COVID-19 response pillars adopted by the Federal Government in line with NCDC’s guidelines by stressing the role of the mass media in the fight against COVID-19 with heavy reliance on the facts.
Adeyemi explained that UNICEF and its partners were collaborating to reinforce messages on equal access to healthcare, ending discrimination and social stigmatisation by providing daily updates to members of the public on the best ways to contain the pandemic and remain safe.
Presenting a paper titled: Debunking Rumours and Conspiracy Against COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination, Dr. Obasi Chikezie of Community Medicine Department, Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital, said the treatment of Coronavirus was expensive, but vaccination had offered cheaper access to managing its treatment and that no country was safe until all countries get the vaccines.
He debunked myths like dying in two years after taking the vaccine, that vaccines have magnetic metals, lead to convulsion, ignites electric bulbs, changes DNA and causes infertility that might lead to depopulation, among others.
He said these were fake news or assumptions by bloggers to generate traffic to their sites and activities of some pharmaceuticals for their personal gains.
Also, Dr. Nwachukwu Ugwunna of the Community Medicine Department of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, stressed that COVID-19 was real and that people of 60 years and above and those with underlying medical conditions were at higher risk.
“The vaccination is a simple way through which one can overcome the virus or reduce the risk of getting the disease, because, without vaccination, people risk serious sickness. The key reason to get vaccinated is to protect ourselves and those around us.
“It is not the vaccines that will stop the pandemic, but the actual vaccination. So, everyone that has reached 18 years and above should get vaccinated starting from the weakest and the elderly because vaccines are the shots we all need to save lives,” he said.