Ntcheu district director of health and social services Stephen Macheso has urged journalists in the district to help encourage people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
The call follows community members’ reluctance to get vaccinated due to misconceptions and myths about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Macheso made the call on Wednesday during an orientation of Ntcheu-based journalists on Covid-19 vaccine organised by Save the Children International.
He said: “When the district rolled out the vaccination exercise in March, many people declined to get their jabs because they believed that the vaccine was evil.
“This affected the uptake of the vaccine in the first phase.”
Macheso said most people think that Covid-19 is a myth fabricated by health workers to get money.
“That is why we appeal to journalists to help disseminate the right information about the vaccine to scale up the uptake,” he said.
On his part, Ntcheu district commissioner Francis Matewere said the misconceptions have also affected the observance of Covid-19 guidelines in the district.
“Journalists are frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19. They have power to change people’s minds because people easily believe what they hear from radio or read in newspaper,” he said.
In his remarks, Save the Children International Pathways for Strengthened Resilience project manager James Gausi said they trained the journalists in Covid-19 reporting to fight the misconceptions surrounding the vaccine.
“We hope involving journalists will help community members make informed decisions to get vaccinated against Covid-19,” he said.
As of yesterday, 21 612 people were vaccinated.