MISA Zambia has welcomed pronouncements by the government to prioritize the media, health personnel among others in the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine as they are front line workers.
MISA Zambia Chairperson Hellen Mwale says media practitioners are frontline workers who continually risk their lives when collecting and disseminating news and information to the public hence their health and safety is paramount.
“We recognize the various essential roles that the media play in providing information and platforms for both the government and members of the public to express themselves hence their safety and protection against the pandemic needs to be prioritized”, Mwale explains.
Mwale however notes the concerns by some journalists and other stakeholders on the authenticity and validity of the vaccines and says the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders have assured her institution and the nation that the vaccines are safe for use and the media.
She adds that the media has only been listed as part of the first beneficiaries because of the important role that they play in keeping the nation informed on key national issues.
MISA Zambia has since called on the Ministry of Health to educate members of the public about the science behind COVID – 19 vaccines, as this is important for communities and individuals to make decisions on being vaccinated.”It is a well-known fact that accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines is vital to improving public knowledge and trust in these treatments as they come on stream”, she says.
The government through the Ministry of Health announced that journalists will be part of first recipients of the COVID – 19 vaccines once it arrives in the country next month.