Plateau Commissioner for health blames COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy on social media



Plateau Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, has blamed COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the state on non-factual reports of the vaccine peddled by some persons on social media platforms.

Lar spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Jos.

He said the non-factual statements and misinformation as regards the vaccine on the social media had created a trust deficit thereby lowering the vaccination coverage.

“Vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest challenges we have on the Plateau; initially we were doing well, however before the yuletide, there was a decline in the number of persons coming for the vaccine.

“Even the elites are not going for the vaccine that is free and readily available,” Lar said.

The commissioner revealed that as a means of tackling the issue of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, the ministry would commence on re-sensitisation of people.

He said the sensitisation would focus on the benefits of vaccination and doing away with the hoax as regards the vaccine.

Lar said anyone with questions as regards the vaccine should seek clarification from a health worker rather than resorting to the social media for clarification as the act could be misleading.

The commissioner disclosed that the state had commenced the administration of the Pfizer booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Dec. 2021.

He affirmed that the 17 local government areas had the vaccines readily available in their cold stores which were then distributed to their primary health care centers.

Lar urged the people to avail themselves of the vaccine as the vaccine was free, available and would help reduce the severity of the virus if contracted. (NAN)