Determined to ensure attitudinal changes in COVID-19 Vaccine acceptance and uptake in among vulnerable communities in Nigeria, the Mercy Corps in collaboration with Care International today held a dialogue meeting for Dogo Nini Community, Potiskum Local Government Area of Yobe State.
The dialogue meeting held at Yindiski Primary Health Care Center attracted various community members, Youth, Women, religious groups, and traditional Rulers among other critical stakeholders.
Anchoring the meeting, Kauna Sugabkya Ag. Program Manager Mercy Corps informed that dialogue aims to improve COVID-19 vaccination coverage by increasing vaccine confidence, acceptance, and uptake in vulnerable communities. It is a program in Yobe State where the Mercy Corps partnered with the state government and Care International to implement in four Local Government Areas of Damaturu, “Potiskum, Nguru and Gashua respectively.
She further disclosed that Mercy Corps is undertaking the program in Damaturu and Potiskum Local Government Areas to reduce the rumors about the Covid-19 Vaccines, address problems of misinformation as well as ensure attitudinal changes in the people.
Sugabkyo added that the topic of the message is directed towards encouraging Yindiski Community Members to COVID-19 Vaccine without resistance. “We have a Mercy Corps chat board which serves as a platform for all to make comments, complaints, observations, and inquiries on the Covid-19 Vaccine, the platform is called ‘Shehu’ with phone number 07034146757 ‘.
Comments generated from the discussion on the reasons for not accepting the COVID-19 vaccine revolve around poverty, ignorance, rumor, and political influence.. it is expected that the number of compliance will improve because of the meeting.
A resident of Yindiski, Musa Yusuf observed that some of the reasons behind noncompliance to accepting the COVID-19 vaccine include the disappearance of COVID-19 palliatives. He suggested that traditional rulers should be fully engaged in the program because of their relevance and importance in society. “The information dissemination strategy should be reviewed to make it more effective”.
Others told the meeting that all along they have not physically seen COVID-19 patients or symptoms to convince them that the disease is real.