Community, religious and political Leaders in Nigeria have been charged to take a lead role by encouraging Nigerians to get vaccinated in the ongoing COVID-19 exercise. Specialists at the on going three-day training for journalists in Yola, Adamawa state noted that widespread use of vaccine can reduce spread in the community and chances of a new variant, or perhaps reduce the chances of a fresh lockdown.
Elizabeth Onitolo, Communication for Development (C4D) Specialist at UNICEF, and Lilian Okere of the African Held Epidemiology Network, noted that leaders must play their roles to get the result especially in all the states where the vaccination exercise is is ongoing.
Her words: “We need COVID-19 vaccine to stop this pandemic, vaccine work with the immune system and that is why we need to be vaccinated. Widespread use of vaccine can reduce spread in the community and chances of a new variant, or perhaps reduce the chances of lockdown.
“For us to get out of this pandemic, all hands must be on deck, we must all work together; everyone must be on the same page,” she stressed.
The Specialists called on strategic leaders to put in their resources for the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine in their domains to achieve the desired result. According to them, community engagement, social mobilization and advocacy are needed at this period in time to make the exercise applaudable.
Onitolo particularly revealed that there are 200 vaccines that are on trial all over the world, adding that, three were on the trial list too in Nigeria to find a lasting solution to the deadly disease. The C4D Specialist therefore challenged community leaders to make correct information available to the public as to what COVID-19 was all about, and build partnership, alliance at every point of engagement.