The thematic session highlighted the need to create meaningful awareness campaigns about Covid-appropriate behaviour and bust myths surrounding Covid vaccines and vaccination particularly among communities residing in remote and difficult to reach areas in the country.
In his opening remarks, Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal acknowledged the contribution of community radio stations in supporting the world’s largest vaccination drive, the statement said.
He noted that the radio stations’ sustained efforts by airing informative programmes on Covid vaccination for their discerning listeners is reflected in the increased community participation in the ongoing vaccination drive for adults, it added.
The programmes in regional languages aimed at educating communities about importance of Covid-appropriate behaviour, addressing myths and misinformation linked to vaccines and creating awareness on vaccination progress is resulting in uptake of vaccination among many tribal districts, it said.
The radio stations were urged to highlight community-led positive initiatives and role models to strengthen vaccine trust among communities that they cater to. The issue of mental health linked to COVID-19 was also focused upon, the statement said.
The collective responsibility to address mental health issues among communities through informative programming by engaging with subject experts from the state and national level was stressed on, it said.
The radio stations were asked to continuously remind listeners about the need to strictly follow Covid-appropriate behaviour as the second wave is still not over: the virus can strike back as soon the society ignores health advisories and lowers its guard against Covid safety protocol, it said.
The representatives were encouraged to produce innovative programmes and create a ‘Jan Andolan’ (public movement) by featuring and acknowledging community role models.
The participants shared how they allayed apprehensions and concerns of their audiences about Covid vaccines and motivated them to get the jab.
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