An early snapshots of a survey currently being conducted by Economic, Social and Cultural Council, ECOSOCC has shown that at least 50 percent of Africans are interested in Covid-19 vaccine.
The survey which was highlighted by ECOSOCC’s Programmes Head, Kyeretwie Osie during a webinar with AU representatives, medical and media professionals March 5 dubbed COVID19 VACCINE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN is ongoing across multiple countries on the continent.
Of the 112 responses from countries across the board this far, 50 percent say they believe in the ‘‘safety and efficacy’’ of the vaccine, 34 percent are undecided. These are people who may swing to any direction; on the fence. Just 14 percent are out rightly not convinced the vaccine is safe.
Even as 66 percent of the respondents agree they have come across information about Covid-19 which is inaccurate, 54 percent of them maintain that they will take the Covid-19 vaccine when it is available opposed to 14 percent who may not take the vaccine, 31 percent of people in this category are standing on the fence.
The outcome of this survey which is still in progress shall reveal to stakeholders the amount of work required by governments in tandem with media and civil society organisations, CSOs to ensure effectiveness of the vaccine in the continent.
With 68 percent affirming they got information about Covid-19 from news media (radio and TV) according to the survey, the role of media to enhance the vaccination process gulped already by conspiracy theories cannot be undermined.
Guest on this webinar, Director of Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Africa Dr John Nkengasong announced that Africa needs 120 million doses of the vaccine by June 2021 to achieve a 60 percent vaccination by 2022.
CDC Africa has thus far negotiated for 270 million provisional doses with 70 million excepted to have been absorbed in the continent by June this year. Some countries including South Africa have received and begun the vaccination process already with testing to prevent against the new variant, B.1.1.7 present in four African countries yet to be confirmed.
Africa is equally not totally limping in terms of possible vaccine production on the continent. At least six countries in Africa currently manufacture vaccines which include South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, with Nigeria and Ethiopia in the pipeline to join them.
With these prospects mapped out and support from governments through the African Union, Africa is apt to provide vaccines to her citizens, Dr John assured participants.
To achieve this, key stakeholders who are CSOs and media professionals are expected onboard to execute groundworks which will pave the way for acceptance and effective use of the vaccine by Africans.