Two-thirds of the African population has expressed their willingness to accept the novel COVID-19 vaccines, but the sentiment has varied across the continent.
According to a survey conducted in 19 member countries, 91 percent of the people in Morocco were most interested in receiving the vaccines, while Tunisia and Cameroon had the lowest number of people at 35 percent.
Levels of acceptability in other countries include South Africa, 61 percent, Zimbabwe 61 percent, Nigeria, 72 percent, Zambia, 53 percent, Mozambique 75 percent, Egypt, 78 percent, Kenya, 59 percent, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, 52 percent.
Dr. Emmanuel Agogo, the Nigeria Country Representative of Resolve to Save Lives, revealed findings of the report released by the Partnership for Evidence-based Response to COVID-19 (PERC) consortium.
He was addressing a webinar session hosted by the African Centre for Diseases Control, public strategy firm, Gatefield, and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator to engage journalists on the issue of COVID-19 vaccines' safety, effectiveness, and distribution.
The consortium is made up of public health organizations comprising the Africa Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, the World Health Organization, the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, the World Economic Forum, and private sector firms such as market research company, Ipsos.
Dr. Agogo, who outlined the reasons for vaccine hesitancy identified in the research, urged the media to take responsibility for enlightening audiences on COVID-vaccines.
The new briefs (part of the third series of data collection and analysis from PERC) combine results from phone surveys on the impact of public health and social measures (PHSMs) with information on epidemiological trends, media monitoring, and data on population mobility.
"Journalists can inform and increase public confidence in vaccines," Dr. Agogo said and encouraged journalists not to be sensational in reporting on vaccines.
“Since many myths are perpetuated, they should instead distribute reliable and accurate information”.
Dr. Agogo advised Journalists to do vigorous research, check their facts, and use trusted sources of information.
An expert panel of journalists including Hopewell Chin’ono, an award-winning investigative journalist from Zimbabwe, Dr. Laz Ude Eze, AIT Television host, Tanya Farber, Senior Science Reporter, Sunday Times and Vuyo Mkize, a health writer, City Press, and Elizabeth Merab, health and Science journalist, Nation Media Group shared their experiences on covering vaccines.
The Africa CDC recommended the need for African countries to continue rolling out the COVID-19 vaccines.