Public health specialist Dr. Christopher Dube says myths and misconception over Covid-19 Vaccination being peddled on social media have negatively affected the campaign to increase vaccination uptake.
The Ministry of Health is currently implementing a Covid-19 Vaccination campaign aimed at ensuring that 2 million Zambians are fully vaccinated by 25 December 2021.
Dr. Dube from Ndola District Health Office said even some health workers were resisting Covid-19 vaccination because of myths and misconception.
He said the Ministry of Health in Ndola is now engaging stakeholders such as councilors, chiefs and the clergy in a bid to encourage more people to get the Covid-19 vaccination.
Dr. Dube announced that the Ndola Health Office will next week launch the door to door campaign and visit some campaigns to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
Speaking on a Radio Icengelo Programme on Friday, Dr. Dube emphasised that people who have been vaccinated are less likely to die from Covid-19.
“Myths and misconceptions have been the major challenge that has caused what we would call vaccine hesitancy. So we have our public health unit and I think they are trying to do their best to ensure that we have sensitization activities on Covid-19 vaccination. We have also come up with one-on-one focus group discussion for those who have serious questions on vaccination,” Dr. Dube said.
“This challenge initially was not just for the community out there, even for health workers we have had challenges and it’s only now that we have seen a lot of our health workers getting vaccinated. At least we are now over 90 % vaccinated as health workers,” he said.
“This social media information is everywhere. Social media has really dealt a bad blow to the campaign on vaccination. If you talk about myths others are religious. I think the major issue has been the issue of knowledge just like the Bible says ‘my people perish for lack of knowledge’ so knowledge on Covid-19 vaccinations is something that needs to be out there,” Dr. Dube said.
Meanwhile, the Ndola District Health Office is expecting to vaccinate 83,000 people by Christmas.
Ndola has 34 public health facilities where vaccines are being administered.