Nigerian Youths have been described as major contributors in the adherence and compliance to the measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19. Despite being victims of the economic consequences of the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, youths have shown resilience by learning new skills and return to farming.
This position was projected by Public Affairs Commentator and the current Deputy Chairman, Plateau Youth Council Comrade Nizhi Emmanuel Jukun who was a guest of the Special COVID-19 Awareness Program on KT FM 103.9 brought by Comrade Friday Bako with support from CITAD and MacArthur Foundation.
While discussing on the ‘Role of Youths in Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake’, Comrade Jukun noted that the reaction of youths to the speedy COVID-19 Vaccine did not get the required trust stressing that coupled with conspiracy theories, it made young people not to believe the vaccine.
He stressed that though there was a lot of misinformation especially regarding the speed with which the vaccine was produce, rumours of the vaccine being a weapon for population reduction is responsible for vaccine hesitancy among the youths, based on his experience a large number of youths are still left in doubt, calling for more efforts to educate the public in order to push away such misinformation.
He noted that the media space both online and the Orthodox media have been responsible for the spread of all kinds of information about the COVID-19 Vaccine, though he stressed that there are those who went online to find the correct information about the COVID-19 Vaccine, hence youths still found a way of taking the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Comrade Jukun advised youth and community leaders to take the lead in taking the COVID-19 Vaccine in order to set example for the public to follow. He advised leaders of communities and celebrities who have large followership to get involved in the campaign in order to encourage the public to take the jab. He called on religious leaders to also to join in the campaign to encourage the COVID-19 Vaccine uptake.
He hailed the effort of Comrade Friday Bako for coming up with the initiative of providing a platform for creating awareness about COVID-19. He encouraged government and non governmental organizations to support the initiative to ensure that the youths are reached out to with the right kind of information about the COVID-19 Vaccine.