COVID-19: ‘Inoculating journalists will build public confidence on vaccine’
The Federal Capital Territory Administration is optimistic that vaccinating journalists against the COVID-19 virus, would build public confidence and eliminate all doubts skeptics may have against the vaccine.
FCT Minister, Mal. Muhammad Bello, recently expressed this believe when he monitored the vaccination of members of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, FCT Chapter.
Bello, while kicking off the vaccination exercise at the NUJ secretariat Utako, said the administration considered it necessary to vaccinate journalist as they are indeed part of the frontline workers.
Represented at by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategic Communications, Mal. Abubakar Sani, the minister stressed that the vaccine is a normal routine vaccine to help boost immune system to protect people from contracting COVID-19 virus.
“We considered it necessary to initiate this process of vaccinating members of the fourth estate of the realm because journalists are indeed frontline workers.
“The FCT Administration considers the relationship between the NUJ and the administration as a very productive and strong relationship.
“It is in the realisation of the fact that journalists who report day-to-day activities happening in the society are exposed to the dangers of COVID-19.
“Some of them even go to the COVID-19 Treatment and Isolation centers to get testimonies from people infected with the COVID-19 virus,” Bello said.
The Acting Secretary, FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Kawu Mohammed, noted that partnership with media professional was a collaboration that every service provider required.
Responding, the FCT NUJ Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche, said vaccination of journalists would speak more than any advocacy carried out by the government before.
“Because journalists will attest if the vaccine has any side effects, understand what the issues are and give feedback to the public.”
He revealed that over 120 journalists in Abuja registered to take the vaccine, adding that more journalists would be turning out for the exercise.
Ogbeche used the occasion to thank the minister for all his support to FCT NUJ, saying, “We hope that together we can fight COVID-19.”
Also, the Chairperson of the National Association of Women Journalist, Anne Daniel, expressed readiness of the association to sensitize women on the importance of taking the vaccine.
The highpoint of the exercise was the administration of COVID-19 vaccine to the FCT NUJ Chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche and the Chairperson of NAWOJ, Anne Daniel and journalists from various media organizations.