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STOP THAT HESITANCY

ZAMBIA must bolster efforts to vaccinate more citizens against the ravaging Covid-19, even as the country crossed the 100, 000 mark of people who have received the jab thus far.

Firstly, the Ministry of Health, the media and other partners must upscale the publicity programme, particularly in the hinterland where many people are still skeptical about the vaccine owing to the trending myths and conspiracy theories.

Fake news about the vaccine is on the overdrive on social media and other platforms, hence the urgent need to spread correct information and dwarf misleading sentiments.

Inaccurate information doing the rounds includes that which postulates that the vaccination causes impotence in both men and women.

Additionally, some people wrongly believe the Covid-19 pandemic is a conspiracy of pharmaceutical firms to maximise sales of their products to boost their business.

Others erroneously think that Covid-19 is a pre-planned project to cover the Bill Gates trackable microchip while others claim that the vaccine is aimed at altering the DNA of people.

Out of downright ignorance, some citizens do not believe that Covid-19 exists, and they find it hard to accept that a flu-like illness could cause death.

Thus, a number of people are hesitant to take the vaccine while others have out rightly rejected to go for the jab.

It is, therefore, important for the Ministry of Health and interest groups to pool their resources and focus on encouraging citizens to take the vaccine.

Zambia launched the AstraZeneca vaccine on April 14, this year and more than 100, 000 people have been vaccinated, but the number could have been more if the myths and conspiracy theories were debunked early enough.

Government has targeted to vaccinate all people over the age of 18, or 46 percent of the 18.3 million population, which is not a small number at all considering the high speed at which the myths are flying.

Front-line workers such as health workers, the police, security officers, teachers and the clergy are among those being given priority in vaccination.

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