Misconception still contributing to low uptake of Covid-19 vaccine

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A call has been made for more action on issues that are surrounding Covid-19 especially stigma and myths considering that these issues are contributing to low Covid-19 vaccine uptake.

This was said during media science café program kick-off launch in partnership with AVAC, a US based Global advocacy organization working on HIV and other diseases to promote science communication and reporting on Covid-19  on Monday in Lilongwe.

Speaking with reporters, Programs Manager for Journalists Association Against AIDS (JournAIDS),  Dingaan Mithi, said that Covid-19 is surrounded by many issues including misconceptions because up to date some people are not aware of how the virus came into this country.

He noted that Malawi has a very low Covid-19 vaccination rate of about 15 percent while SADC  Region other countries like Zambia are around 70 percent and Mozambique is above 30 percent which shows that there is a lot that is needed to be done more especially from the media industry by ensuring journalists are well equipped with information about Covid-19.

He added that rumours that are spreading about Covid-19 vaccine like depopulation and infertility are some of the challenges that need serious attention.

“We feel that it is better for people to understand the science about the Covid-19 vaccine. We want to challenge the media so it can start reporting these issues,” he said.

A new UN report on Covid-19 shows that “women’s and children’s health has suffered globally, as the impacts of  conflict, the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change converge with devastating effects on prospects for children, young people and women.”

The report notes that “An estimated 25 million children were un- or under-vaccinated in 2021 – 6 million more than in 2019 – increasing their risk of contracting deadly and debilitating diseases.

Millions of children missed out on school during the pandemic, many for more than a year, while approximately 80 percent of children in 104 countries and territories experienced learning loss because of school closures.

Since the start of the global pandemic, 10.5 million children lost a parent or caregiver to Covid-19.

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