The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) says it has conducted a public education on COVID-19 vaccine in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Plateau, Kogi, Kaduna and Kano.
CITAD Coordinator of the COVID-19 Vaccine Public Education Project, Hamza Ibrahim disclosed this while briefing newsmen at CITAD Bauchi office on the completion of the exercise.
He stated that, the project is aimed at creating awareness on COVID-19 vaccine with a view to getting acceptance and uptake of the vaccine by people in the six states, noting that, CITAD conducted the exercise with partners from different backgrounds and professions to enlighten people on the need to take the vaccine.
“The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from MacArthur Foundation is implementing a “Public Education on COVID-19 Vaccine” in six states of the north and having monitored COVID-19 vaccine administration in the six project states for the last two months, we are displeased to note that we have identified both general and specific issues that are hindering uptake of the vaccine thereby further risking the efforts at addressing the pandemic.
“This we must say is unfortunate particularly at a time when new variants of the virus are emerging. While we noticed that misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine is still prevalent, we also regret to note here that state governments are in some way aiding non acceptance of the vaccine by not fully supporting the vaccination exercise where people who want to be vaccinated are required by the vaccination officials to make payments for their details to be captured and uploaded online on the national register, this we particularly found happening in Kogi state.”
Hamza Ibrahim pointed out that, requesting people to make payments before to be vaccinated will not only hamper the vaccination exercise, but make them to stay away from taking the vaccine.
He said the identified challenges if not addressed quickly will reinforce the misconception and fake news in circulation about the vaccine, and that will sabotage the efforts geared towards containing the virus and addressing the pandemic in general.
“The problems we have identified are vaccine administrators demand data payment from people who want to get vaccinated to upload their details on the online national register, lack of proper coordination in vaccine administration and distribution, absence of vaccination spots at gathering places such as Mosques, churches, banks, inaccessibility of the vaccines in rural communities and nonpayment of vaccine administrators’ allowances.”
The Coordinator said having identified series of avoidable challenges and problems, the organization recommended strong actions to be taken in order to salvage the vaccination exercise.
He urged the state governors concerned to as a matter of urgency work to address the problems identified and examine the vaccination channel in their states by deploying the needed mechanisms.
Hamza Ibrahim appealed to State Primary Healthcare Development Agencies in the six states to review their operation manual to ensure proper coordination for effective vaccination exercise.