UNICEF Odisha, PIB and Department of Health and Family Welfare join hands with media to promote safe behaviour and vaccination

Balasore: UNICEF Odisha in collaboration with the Department of Health, Government of Odisha & Press Information Bureau (PIB) Bhubaneswar organized a virtual Media Sensitization Program on COVID and Vaccination in Deogarh/Sambalpur/Balasore.

The speaker included Akhil Kumar Mishra, Director Regional Outreach Bureau, Bhubaneswar; Dr Monoj Kumar Upadhaya, CDM and PHO, Deogarh; Dr B.K Dash , ADPHO (FW i/c) , Sambalpur; Dr Nilamadhav Sathpathy, ADPHO (FW) Koraput, Dr S.B Panda, Child Health Manager Directorate of Family Welfare; Radhika Srivastava, Communication and Advocacy Specialist and Dr. Anil Patnaik from UNICEF.

The sensitization program emphasized on the need to generate greater awareness on COVID appropriate behaviour and encourage more people to take the COVID vaccine.

The panel was commenced by Radhika Srivastava, Communication and Advocacy Specialist, UNICEF Odisha who highlighted the role of media during the pandemic. “Media has been playing a crucial role in disseminating information to people during this critical juncture. Lack of information and knowledge as well as spread of incorrect information and myths at this crucial time may lead to increase in fear like vaccine hesitancy among population. Therefore, I request all media to ensure accurate and scientific reporting” she added.

Speaking on important role of media in vaccination, Akhil Kumar Mishra, Director Regional Outreach Bureau, Bhubaneswar said, “Media should put across the awareness about vaccination and encourage people to get vaccinated. We have already achieved the milestone of reaching 100 crore vaccines in the country. However, we need to achieve many more milestones to ensure an even higher coverage. Media has a vital role in keep communities in hard to reach areas and in tribal areas well informed about the vaccination and COVID precautions “he said.

Speaking on the impact of COVID, Dr. Anil Patnaik, UNICEF, Odisha stated “People with comorbidities & immunity deficiency and senior citizens may be more vulnerable to COVID. Only 5% people are getting severely affected due to weaker immune system. In the 2nd wave it was also evident that more younger people are also getting affected by COVID”. He also spoke on different aspects of post COVID care and the need to monitor oxygen level, use of pulse oximeter and explained about the proning method for improvement in oxygen level. Dr Patnaik emphasized on frequent check of oxygen level in case a person tests COVID positive.

Appealing to people to follow the COVID norms, Dr. S.B Panda, Child Health Manager Directorate of Family Welfare stated,“We all have to get vaccinated completely and after getting vaccinated we all have to abide by the COVID appropriate behaviour that is SMS – Social Distancing, Masking and sanitizing,”

Speaking on the efficacy of the Vaccines, Dr. NilamadhabSatpathy, ADPHO(FW), Koraput said, “All vaccines approved by the Government have high efficacy rate. The average efficacy rate of all vaccines including Covaxin and Covishield and others is 70%-75%. So we without hesitation we should get ourselves vaccinated.”
The experts answered a number of questions by media ranging from dosage, gap between doses, reaching out the tribal and rural pockets.