The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and the Private Newspapers Publishers Association (PRINPAG) have jointly endorsed the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
In a statement, they urged journalists to support the campaign to have Ghanaians support the programme when the time is due for them to do so.
While acknowledging the heavy toll the virus is exacting on the various sectors of the country, the media umbrella bodies opine that it is necessary for the media to build public confidence in the vaccine rollout.
“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,”AffailMonney, Andrew Danso-Ahenkora and Andrew Edwin Arthur, ESQ, representing the GJA, GIBA and PRINPAG respectively pointed out.
The leadership of the three bodies also demanded of media practitioners to highlight the importance of combining the vaccination with the adherence to the hygiene protocols as endorsed by both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and local health authorities as the best bet against the virus.
The GJA, GIBA and PRINPAG also asked the media to let the public expect possible mild effects of the vaccines just like it is with all inoculations and medications.
Ghana, they reminded citizens, has since 1978 rolled out vaccinations for 13 different diseases according to medical experts and evidence“helped to eliminate those diseases, including measles from the country.”
Continuing, they“urged 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.”
The 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, the statement stressed.
In the face of ongoing misinformation, the three bodies urged the media to feed the public with facts that will save lives.
“Let us all rally around the national flag to undertake this exercise to save the country from the pandemic,” they added.
The GJA, GIBA and PRINPAG expressed satisfaction with government’s management of the pandemic.
600,000 AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines were received on February 24, 2021 through a COVAX arrangement initiated by the WHO.
By A.R. Gomda