Last year, we partnered with UNICEF, the African Union, and African celebrities to launch #MythOrVax on TikTok. Our campaign dispelled myths and challenged misinformation on COVID-19, and raised awareness on the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations in Africa.
Now, it’s back for part two. Keep reading to find out more.
Challenging vaccine hesitancy in Africa
Africa has made progress in the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines. Countries have educated the public about the safety of COVID vaccines, and the continent is home to a new vaccine production programme. But despite those efforts, vaccine hesitancy remains high.
The spread of vaccine misinformation is quick across the continent due to social media. In fact, those with “high levels of hesitancy” were more likely to be social media users, according to a study by the Africa CDC. While access to social media is the main driver of vaccine hesitancy, safety, side effects, the effectiveness of the vaccines and religious beliefs are amongst the other key driving factors to consider.
The question to ask is why is there a vaccine hesitancy problem in Africa. The hesitancy is due to a number of factors. These include a lack of knowledge about the effectiveness of vaccines, systematic dynamics, and a history of medical and vaccine research abuse on the continent, which has greatly reduced trust in vaccines.
To tackle this, there must be a committed effort to challenge the spread of misinformation across social media and communities.
That’s where our #MythOrVax campaign comes in.
The next phase of #MythOrVax
The ONE Campaign, TikTok, African celebrities, and health experts are partnering once again to address misinformation and end vaccine hesitancy in Africa. From an online quiz and an interactive mythbusting filter on TikTok, this next phase of our campaign will work even harder to challenge vaccine misinformation and end the pandemic once and for all. We’ll also be pairing some of the biggest names on the continent, like Yemi Alade from Nigeria, SautiSol from Kenya, Pearl Thusi from South Africa, and more, with health experts to dispel myths and raise awareness about the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations in Africa.
The first livestream conversation kicks of on 27 March, with Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa CDC, and the session line up includes:
- 7pm WAT (8pm CAT), March 28: Dr. Phiona Atuhebwe, a vaccinologist and immunization expert at the WHO Regional Office for Africa, and Falz, Nigerian rapper, songwriter and actor.
- 3pm WAT (7pm CAT), March 30: Dr.Taj, Head of Public Health Institutes and Research at the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and Kamene Goro, Kenyan radio presenter, news anchor and, media personality.
- 6pm WAT (7pm CAT), March 30: Dr. Ayoade Alakija, the World Health Organization’s special envoy for the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and Pearl Thusi, South African actress, model, and presenter.
- 7pm WAT (8pm CAT), April 4: Dr John Nkengasong, a Cameroonian virologist and the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and Yemi Alade, Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter, actress and activist.
- 6pm WAT (7pm CAT), April 5: Dr Siya, South African health practitioner and TikToker, and
- 6pm WAT(7pm CAT), April 6: Dr Lwazi Manzi, Head of Secretariat of the AU Commission on COVID-19 and Nina Hestie, a seasoned stand-up comedian from South Africa.
Please note that this schedule is subject to change.
Together, we can end the pandemic!