Three media groups in the country have urged journalists and media houses to help lead the campaign on the novel coronavirus vaccination campaign.
The three groups, the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), say they are satisfied with arrangements made by the government to fight COVID-19 to ensure that Ghanaians are safe from the pandemic.
“The three media groups understand that the combination of getting vaccinated and following World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations to protect yourselves and others, provide the best antidote to COVID-19,” the groups said in a statement jointly signed by their leadership.
The three media groups believe that bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic will relieve the entire nation of the heavy toll the virus is having on the country’s education, economy, healthcare and many other critical sectors of the society.
“With the vaccination exercise soon to begin, we are convinced that, having accurate information about the exercise with exact public trust is the sure way to ensure the success of the programme. In that regard, we the three media Associations urge journalists and media houses to help inform and educate the public with the facts on the benefits and the advantages of being vaccinated in order to ensure that, they avail themselves of the opportunity to keep safe from COVID-19,” the statement said.
The three media groups have also urged all journalists and media houses to continue stressing on the need to adhere to the WHO safety protocols of wearing nose masks, ensuring social distancing, avoiding crowds and frequent washing of hands with soap under running water.
“Let us highlight the fact that, our best protection against COVID-19 is a combination of getting vaccinated in addition to strictly adhering to these protocols. No single bullet can kill the pandemic and so it is important we educate the public about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination,” the statement noted.
The groups say they acknowledge the fact that, just like any other vaccine or medicine, the COVID-19 vaccine may have adverse drug effect. They however added that they are assured by medical experts that the adverse drug effect of the vaccine is likely to be mild.
“Again, we are convinced by medical evidence that, since 1978, Ghana has rolled out vaccinations for 13 different diseases, which have helped to eliminate those diseases, including measles from the country. We urge the public to disabuse their minds of reports that, the vaccine would cause harm to human health. Indeed, the vaccine is more helpful than harmful,” they said.
They have also given the assurance that GJA, GIBA and PRINPAG, in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Information, will roll out series of educational activities to equip the media with the appropriate information to enhance their work of informing and educating the public.
“We acknowledge the fact that, there is a lot of misinformation being peddled around and we, as bearers of factual information, must endeavour to feed the public with credible and factual information about the COVID-19 vaccines to save lives,” the statement said.