The Media is a major partner in the campaign for the uptake of COVID-19 Vaccines ~ Gwamkat Gwamzhi

The Media has been described as a major partner in the awareness campaign for the uptake of the COVID-19 Vaccine in Nigeria. This was disclosed during a Special COVID-19 Awareness Campaign brought by Comrade Friday Bako with Support from MacArthur Foundation and CITAD on KT FM 103.9 on Wednesday 9th March 2022. Featuring on the program, Broadcast Journalist and Media Expert with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Miss Gwamkat Gwamzhi while discussing on the topic “The Role of the Media in increasing COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake” explained the vital role the Media played at the beginning of the Outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus.

A caller, introduced as Mr Pam Dung Kim who called in to contribute, noted with concern that number of videos of Doctors discouraging people from taking the COVID-19 online. While responding Gwamkat Gwamzhi pointed out that the point raised is one of the challenges the media is confronted with, stressing that the fact check feedback do not go as far as the people who share such false news. information.

She noted that there are media collaborations with several platforms in order to send out the correct information which counters the false information about the COVID-19 Vaccines, stressing that it is difficult trying to counter rumours.

Gwamzhi noted how dangerous it was to believe false news without proper verification, sighting an example with the Ebola Mass Hysteria where a lot of people were told to consume salt out of misinformation which led to the death of many who were suffering from High Blood Pressure. She also citted the unhealthy nature of misinformation in crisis situations and the damages fake news and misinformation has caused.

She encouraged the use of alternative means of disseminating information such as media hubs who reach out to communities to ensure that a large section of the society. She also stressed that the conventional media is leveraging on the Social Media to ensure that fakenews and misinformation can be combated.

The media according to her is giving opportunity to opinion moulders to come and speak in order to discourage their followers from following false news regarding COVID-19 Vaccines.

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