Th e PublicA ffairs Committee (PAC) has called on faith leaders in the country to help government encourage the public to go for Covid-19 vaccination for the country to effectively fight the pandemic.
PAC, which hosted a meeting between key faith leaders and health experts in Lilongwe yesterday, says it believes that faith leaders have a big role in the vaccination campaign.
PAC vice – c hairprson Osman Karim said there is need for joint efforts to encourage people to get vaccinated during the forthcoming second phase of the vaccination exercise.
He urged faith leader to counter social media reports that spread negative perceptions about the vaccines.
Said Karim: “With their active involvement in local commun i t ies and thei r standing as moral leaders, many faith leaders command respect of local and national authorities, which can make them valuable peace mediators in tense environments and as credible influencers in behavioural change initiatives with communities.”
On his part, Archbishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre Archdiocese of the Catholic Church also called on faith leaders to seriously engage their followers to go for vaccination.
Said Msusa: “As fai th leaders, we need to be in the forefront encouraging people to get vaccinated. We should not relent in telling them and informing them that it is a good vaccine. This is one way that God is working to protect us.”
Ministry of Health deputy director and programme manager for immunisation Mike Chisema said there are several beliefs on the vaccines which have affected the vaccination campaign.
So far, about 320 000 people have been vaccinated which represents about 2.5 percent of the targeted population.