The Oyo State government, in collaboration with the United Nations’ Children’s Education Fund, UNICEF, on Thursday, advocated for an increased awareness on COVID-19 vaccine, COVAX, among residents in the state.
This advocacy was made at a one day advocacy meeting organized by the Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, in collaboration with UNICEF for local government information officers and media practitioners on improving COVAX confidence and uptake at the grassroots in Oyo State, held in Oyo town.
Speaking at the event, the UNICEF C4D Specialists, Akure Office, Mrs. Aderonke Akinola-Akinwole stated that there is the need to educate and clear all doubts about the efficacy and safety of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by the people of the state, especially those living at the grassroots.
Akinwale-Akinwole insisted that media practitioners have a huge role to play in demystifying the misconception and rumors about COVAX in the grassroots.
She dismissed rumours that the vaccine causes early death, sterility or that it is a scam, adding that residents should shun all unfounded assumptions about the vaccine.
The UNICEF representative further explained that the vaccine is safe, effective and free of charge, as it helps reduce the effects of COVID-19 if contracted at all, after the complete vaccination.
Earlier, the Director of UNICEF Programs in the ministry, Mr. Rotimi Babalola, in his welcome address, stated that the meeting with media practitioners and information officers from all the 33 local government areas of the state is important at this time, due to the outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
He noted that the Delta variant of the pandemic is deadlier than the previous COVID-19 variant, hence the need to raise awareness among citizens, who may have let down their guards concerning the COVID-19 protocols.
Mr. Babalola stressed that the vaccine is available at primary health care centers in the state at no cost, to prevent the spread of the virus, especially at this time that schools resumption is in the offing.