By Adeola Badru – Ibadan

The Oyo State Government in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Thursday, advocated for increased awareness on COVID-19 vaccine (COVAX) among residents in the state.

The advocacy was made at a one-day advocacy meeting  organised by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in collaboration with UNICEF for local government information officers and media practitioners on improving COVAX confidence and uptake at grassroots in the state held in Oyo town.

Speaking at the event, the UNICEF C4D Specialists, Akure Office, Mrs. Aderonke Akinola-Akinwole, stated that there was the need to educate and clear all doubts about the efficacy and safety of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by the people of the state especially those living at the grassroots.

According to her, media practitioners have a huge role to play in demystifying misconception and rumors about COVAX in the grassroots.

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She dismissed rumours that the vaccine causes early death, sterility or that it is a scam, adding that, residents should shun all  unfounded assumptions about the vaccine.

The UNICEF representative further explained that the vaccine is safe, effective and free of charge, as it helps reduce the effects of COVID-19 if contracted at all after the complete vaccination.

Earlier, the director of UNICEF Programmes in the ministry, Mr. Rotimi Babalola in his address, stated that the meeting with media practitioners and information officers from all the 33 local government areas is important at this time, due to the outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

He noted that the Delta variant of the pandemic is deadlier than the previous COVID-19, hence the need to raise awareness among citizens who may have let down their guards concerning the COVID-19 protocols.

Mr. Babalola stressed that the vaccine is available at primary health care centres in the state at no cost to prevent the spread of the virus especially at the time that school’s resumption is in the offing.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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