ONE, UNICEF, and the African Union have launched a new campaign on TikTok to counter false information about COVID-19 vaccines.
As part of our ONE World campaign, we have been calling for a global response plan to the pandemic, including global vaccine equity. In Africa, vaccine rollouts have been slow to start, with only 2% of Africa’s population fully vaccinated. Part of the issue is supply — wealthy countries are hoarding doses and not doing enough to ensure equitable access to vaccines.
But another major barrier is hesitancy and misinformation about vaccines. The spread of misinformation on the continent is on the rise due to social media, which can “quickly go viral and disrupt vaccination campaigns.” Countering this misinformation and sharing the facts about vaccines is crucial to ending the pandemic. Vaccine uptake is particularly low in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 36 million doses administered in Africa, just 6 million doses were in sub-Saharan Africa as of the end of June 2021.
Challenging vaccine hesitancy and misinformation
This is where our campaign comes in. #MythOrVax aims to dispel myths and combat inaccurate information, address ongoing fears and concerns, and raise awareness about the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations in Africa. It will feature some of the continent’s biggest music and entertainment acts, like Yemi Alade from Nigeria, SautiSol from Kenya, Maps from South Africa, and Pearl Thusi. Each challenge will feature a live stream on TikTok that pairs celebrities with health experts across the continent and the globe to combat vaccine misinformation.
#MythOrVax kicks off with a TikTok quiz to test your vaccine knowledge on 29 August, so make sure to follow us on TikTok to check out our filters in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, and keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more!