Bayelsa ranks lowest in the Federation in terms of COVID-19 vaccination response with only 4 per cent of the total population vaccinated.
Breakthrough Action-Nigeria, an NGO, with support from the USAID, made the declaration on Wednesday in Yenagoa at a one-day media orientation workshop.
The NGO’s head of Media Unit, Mr Eze Eze, said it was in Bayelsa to enlighten the people of a planned COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign.
He delivered a lecture on “The Role of the media in the COVID-19 Response: Reaching key Populations.’’
Eze appealed to media practitioners to focus more on issues concerning COVID-19 mass vaccination to regularly remind the people of the existence of the virus.
“The role of the media in COVID-19 response cannot be overemphasised because before the people can be vaccinated, they need to know the importance of getting vaccinated,
“They need to know how accessible the vaccines are and it is the role of the media to enlighten them to also know the dangers of not getting vaccinated.
“Only one media house has the capacity to reach out to millions of people. So, you can imagine the impact when all the media outfits focus on the COVID-19 response campaign,’’ he explained.
One of the resource persons, Ms Abuja Racheal, noted that Nasarawa had the highest vaccinated number of persons with about 65 per cent of its total population vaccinated.
She said in her lecture on the Role of the Media in the COVID-19 Response that 60 per of Jigawa population had been vaccinated, while Bayelsa sat at the bottom of the chart with only 4 per cent of her population vaccinated.
In an interactive session, participants from different media houses stated that the poor response to COVID-19 in Bayelsa was blameable on misconceptions, misinformation, and disinformation about the virus.
On his part, the Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Bekesu Martins, commended the organisers for supporting Bayelsa in the fight against the deadly disease.
He promised that the Bayelsa government would intensify the campaign on COVID-19 mass vaccination in all the rural areas of the state.