Arrival of COVID-19 vaccine is indeed a welcome development considering the rising cases of the pandemic though government has already launched a campaign for the fight against the second wave of the pandemic. Most importantly now is how Nigerians will believe in the use of COVID-19 vaccine as lot of hearsays keep spreading about the vaccine even before its arrival?
Ideally, 60 per cent of Nigerians are late majority, people that are very slow in believing issues, especially the health related issues, issues that have to do with vaccine, drugs, among others.
The remaining 40 per cent are laggard, those who do not believe in an issue till it has a great impact on them at times when they have no option.
Taking a look at the poliomyelitis vaccine as an instance, the federal government suffered a lot before the masses believed in it even though it’s a killer disease yet there are people who don’t believe the vaccine could tackle COVID-19 that people already have negative impression about.
In fact, COVID-19 is real but still there are certain group of people in Nigeria that are yet to believe in its existence, such group of people will be the biggest headache for Nigeria in using the COVID-19 vaccine.
For the government to achieve massive awareness in the use of COVID-19 vaccine, a lot needs to be done by government and various stakeholders to convince the people that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective. Although, campaign is ongoing by almost all the telecommunications industries to make people believe COVID-19 vaccines works and it isn’t injurious to health as approved by the World Health Organization ( WHO ), it’s not just enough for government to rest on its oars.
There is need for government to launch mass media campaign using various channels ranging from radio, television, newspapers and magazines. In the same vein, community leaders, imams, pastors, teachers as well as the educated and right thinking members of the society, should please play crucial role towards convincing people to accept the vaccine and also believe COVID-19 is real.
As the disease spreads like wildfire, every Nigerian should take responsibility in containing the pandemic by all means. So far, almost 2000 people have died of the virus and nearly 2 million contracted the virus, so there’s likelihood of more deaths if care is not taken. Together we can secure our lives.Amrah Jaoji Abdullahi,
Department of Mass Communication,
University of MaiduguriNo tags for this post.