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Media’s role imperative in removing misconception about COVID-19 vaccine: Naseem

  • Naseem said the coronavirus was still a looming threat and “It is early to celebrate the victory against the contagion.”
Published February 15, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Weeks after the coronavirus vaccination roll out in the country; the experts have started urging media to play its due role for sensitizing the masses about the importance of taking a jab to achieve the required immunity against the COVID-19.

“To counter black propaganda, media has a crucial role to neutralize the conflicting statements about COVID-19 vaccine with proper facts,” said Prime Minister’s Focal Person Naseem ur Rehman in an interview with Power 99 radio channel.

Naseem, who is an international professional with specialization in development and humanitarian issues, said the world over immunity against various contagious diseases like measles and polio were achieved with the invention of vaccination.

“Invention of vaccination against various epidemics was a major achievement in the medical field during the last two hundred years,” he added.

He said unfortunately, in Pakistan, “We are yet to eliminate polio completely and that is mainly due to the negative propaganda and myths about the vaccination.”

Therefore, as a proactive move, the government, civil society and media should launch massive awareness drives to curb the disinformation, stemming out of the social media about the COVID-19 vaccine.

He said there were multiple countries in the world, where the vaccination was mandatory and people had to face plenty for refusing to get vaccinated against a particular disease.

Naseem said the coronavirus was still a looming threat and “It is early to celebrate the victory against the contagion.”

The focal person said vaccination was imperative for one’s own safety as well as of their loved ones. The vaccines were launched after proper clinical trials so there was no need to be afraid of, he added.

He also feared that economic dividends, achieved by the government after successfully coping with the first and second waves of coronavirus, might get reversed in case of public resistance against the vaccination.

Currently, the frontline health workers are being vaccinated against the coronavirus under the first phase which was initiated by the government at the beginning of this month after receiving 0.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China.

According to the National Vaccination Strategy, health workers would be vaccinated in the first phase, while people aged 60 and above to get vaccine in second-round and those from 18 to 60 years to be immunized in third phase.

Recently, Minister for Planning Asad Umar announced registration of 65 years old citizens and above for the national vaccination drive in the days to come. So far, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) has given approval to four, out of total eight most effective vaccines in the world, for their use in the country that included China’s Sinopharm, and CanSinoBio, Russia’s Sputnik-V and the Oxford University-AstraZeneca.


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