From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has released the report of its research which indicated that political leaders are responsible for the unimpressive level of COVID-19 vaccine compliance in the country.
The data which was collated from 19 northern states commissioners for health by CITAD further indicated that most political leaders are after financial benefits from COVID-19 vaccination instead of educating the masses on the efficacy of the vaccine.
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Speaking on the report, the Executive Director, CITAD, Yunusa Zakaria Ya’u, encouraged political, religious and community leaders to sincerely drive the process of vaccination with the interest of public health and not for financial benefits.
Ya’u said they are working with Northern Governor’s Forum and other relevant authorities to address misconceptions attached to COVID-19 vaccine.
He said: “We have radio station in each of the states that is running public education programmes providing accurate and timely information, clearing the misconception about the vaccine.
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“We also support what we call influencers, mass organizations and others that assist us raising public consciousness and awareness over its safety and efficacy. Commissioners were able to compare their states to others, and to see what strategies that could be adopted to make more impact.
“Nevertheless, despite the challenges associated with the vaccine, we have noticed quite a number of improvements even in states like kogi where there was total denial. We have now seen leaders come out to be vaccinated.”
Representative of MacArthur Foundation, Dayo Olaide, in his remarks stated that the main problem of the vaccine is addressing the masses misconception about COVID-19 and the vaccine.
He said: “We have poor public knowledge about COVID-19 and the one we have about the vaccine is worst. These are things that need to be corrected.”