The United Nations Children’s Fund and the African Union on Monday launched a new TikTok campaign to counter misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines on social media. In partnership with the ONE Campaign, a global movement to end extreme poverty and preventable diseases, the initiative dubbed #MythOrVax aims to dispel myths and combat inaccurate information on vaccination.
The #MythOrVax initiative also is aimed at helping to further engage young people in learning about COVID-19 vaccines, clarify some of the common misconceptions that are making rounds, address ongoing fears and concerns, and raise awareness about the importance of COVID-19 vaccinations in Africa.
Speaking online during the campaign’s virtual launch, Mohamed Fall, UNICEF regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said young people in Africa have many questions about COVID-19 vaccines and failure to address the misinformation and rumors threatens to cripple Africa’s efforts towards pandemic response.
“The youths’ search for vaccine-related answers is often online, where they are met with a deluge of information, including misinformation and rumors. The Myth or Vax initiative will help to further engage young people in learning about COVID-19 vaccines and to clarify some of the common misconceptions that are circulating,” Fall said.
Prudence Ngwenya, the head of the Youth Development Division at the African Union Commission, expressed the continent’s excitement at launching a campaign that addresses vaccine hesitancy at a time when vaccine uptake is low, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
The campaign aims to use quizzes to test participants’ knowledge on the virus and vaccination, as well as bring together prominent African celebrities and experts to discuss concerns around the lack of vaccine confidence in Africa and what’s needed to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.