COVID-19 vaccines safe, effective -UNICEF 

By HAMEED Oyegbade

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has has confirmed that available COVID-19 vaccines are very safe and effective.

UNICEF Chief of Field Office in Kano, Mr Maulid Warfa said

vaccination is very critical to prevent avoidable deaths from the virus and urged Nigerians to get vaccinated.

He urged the media in Nigeria to raise awareness of COVID-19 vaccination and educate people about the benefits of the vaccines.

Warfa charged the media to sensitise people on the dangers of not taking COVID-19 vaccine and the gains of getting vaccinated to defeat the virus.

Warfa gave the charge at a Media Dialogue on COVID-19 vaccine campaign, organised by Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF.

The Media Dialogue with the theme: "Demand creation for COVID-19 vaccines" was held in Kano and attended by journalists drawn from different parts of the country.

Represented by UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Manager, Mr Rafid Aziz, Warfa appealed to Nigerians to go for vaccination and stay safe by observing all the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

In his presentation, the Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Kashare, Gombe State Professor Umar Pete debunked the misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines and urged the media to encourage people to take the vaccines.

Professor Umar Pete urged journalists to strive to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and then provide credible information to people to bring out right attitude and save lives.

UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr Geoffrey Njoku said the objective of the media dialogue was to equip journalists with relevant information that would enable them provide appropriate information to the populace.

Njoku also pleaded with Nigerians to take COVID-19 vaccine to stay safe. He said the media dialogue was also aimed at allaying the fears by anarchists and conspiracy theorists about the safety of the vaccines.

He urged the media to champion advocacy to Federal and State governments to provide logistics and operation support for the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines.