The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Thursday rolled out immunisation for journalists at the Abuja Council Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), with 71 journalists taking the first dose.
Minister of FCT, Mallam Muhammad Bello, said it was in recognition of
the role of journalists as non-medical frontline workers, and in appreciation of their selfless service in informing and sensitising the public at the risk of their lives, hence the need to protect them to be able to continue telling the stories.
Bello who was represented by his senior special adviser on strategic communication, Abubakar Sani, said the vaccination of journalists, will also go a long way in dispelling the rumours and concerns about the safety of the vaccine as they would have experienced it first hand and would be able to tell the story from a more informed perspective.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Mohammed Kawu, said partnership with the media was critical for the administration.
He assured that the vaccine was safe and urged all journalists to take advantage of the opportunity created for them as frontline workers.
Earlier, chairman of council, Emmanuel Ogbeche, said with the cases of vaccine hesitancy locally and globally, it was important for journalists to be vaccinated so that they would be able to lead the
advocacy for acceptance of the vaccine.
“Journalists will be able to tell if the vaccine is safe as they would
have experienced it. The public needs this feedback,” he said.
He commended the FCTA for prioritising journalists and recognising
their role as frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.