By Daniel Tyokua
Experts have deepened discussions on increasing COVID-19 vaccine acceptance on the African continent through positive reports.
During a webinar meeting on Wednesday, experts in their separate submissions agreed that Africans need more conviction from the strategic stakeholders, especially journalists to boost their confidence.
The Nigeria Country Representative of Resolve to Save lives, Dr Emmanuel Agogo urged the media to take front role in educating the populace.
“Journalists can inform and increase public confidence in vaccines,”
Agogo called on journalists to be conscise, not sensational in reporting on the vaccines since many myths are perpetuated, they should be fair in presenting their reports.
He emphasised the need for journalists to always check and double check their facts, as well work with genuine news sources.
In a presentation, the host of the programme, Africa Centre for Disease Control with key firms, Gatefield and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, suggested that African countries should not sleep over full rollout of the vaccine.
A virologist Dr. John Nkengasong revealed that cross the continent, two-thirds of citizens interviewed expressed willingness to accept COVID-19 vaccines.
The report disclosed levels of acceptability in other countries as follows; South Africa (61%), Zimbabwe (61%), Zambia (53%), Mozambique (75%), Egypt (78%), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (52%).
This was revealed as part of the findings of a report released by the Partnership for Evidence- Based Response to Covid-19 (PERC) Consortium.
The consortium is made up of public health organizations such as the Africa Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention; Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies; the World Health Organization; the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team; the World Economic Forum and private sector firms such as market research company, Ipsos.
The new briefs (part of the third series of data collection and analysis from PERC) combine results from phone surveys on the impact of public health and social measures (PHSMs) with information on epidemiological trends, media monitoring, and data on population mobility.
Dr Ouma presented that the African Taskforce for Coronavirus (AFTCOR) had determined based on evidence, that the benefits of the vaccines outweigh its risks.
The experts shared their experiences on covering the exercise and advocated for more responsible reporting on the subject.