Africa: Overcoming Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Across Africa - Access to Information and Community Engagement are Key

Ghana kicks off Covid-19 vaccination campaign with vaccines from COVAX (file photo).

It is essential for African governments to engage in robust outreach to communities that are hesitant to use Covid-19 vaccines and to take steps to build public confidence in vaccines by collaborating with community leaders.
The roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines has finally begun in several African countries, bringing to the fore another challenge connected with the pandemic – vaccine hesitancy.

If not addressed, some people’s reluctance to be vaccinated, coupled with misinformation, will severely undermine the effectiveness of Africa’s response. Upholding people’s right to access to information, and community engagement and involvement, would undoubtedly increase trust in government institutions and messaging.

Some African governments already have strategies to overcome vaccine hesitancy and build public confidence in Covid-19 vaccines. In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa publicly took a jab of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last month, and in Zimbabwe, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga was the first person to publicly receive a dose of the Sinopharm vaccine...

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