Intensify communication on the vaccine to reassure citizens

• According to doctors, more and more citizens are considering getting vaccinated.
• To reassure and convince them, an awareness campaign is needed to explain the value of vaccination.
• Collective immunity and a return to normal life are the key arguments to put forward.

Do Moroccans intend to get vaccinated against Covid-19? Technically, there was no intention poll to assess the position of Moroccans vis-à-vis this vaccine. In recent weeks, information relayed by social networks focused on the refusal to be vaccinated because of the importance of side effects, as well as the conspiracy theory targeting underdeveloped countries. But today, in the medical community, we see the opposite among citizens who are more and more numerous to worry about the arrival of vaccines and the start of the vaccination campaign. According to the latest foreign polls, it appears that there is a great desire to be vaccinated. Thus, in France, for example, the proportion of people wishing to have the vaccine increased from 40% to 58% after the start of the vaccination campaign. In the USA, 80% of them agree to be vaccinated. In Morocco, we do not have scientific information on the intentions of citizens, but, argues Tayeb Hamdi, doctor and researcher in policy and health systems, “today, daily experience in the field and contact with patients allow us to say that the position of citizens has changed and this for several reasons: First of all the appearance of new waves in several countries, the overcoming of the conspiracy theory, since vaccination has started in several European countries such as France, Germany or even Great Britain and the USA ”. And to add: “The patients who come to my office ask several questions today about the interest of making this vaccine, when are we going to be vaccinated, which vaccines should be given and the existence of risks in the event of chronic pathologies such as diabetes or high blood pressure ”.
Talking about the adverse clinical effects and risks of vaccination is currently out of date, according to the medical community which now considers it necessary and more timely to address the benefits and positive aspects of vaccination.

The campaign should focus on the positive side of vaccination …
“We must reassure people who are afraid and make them aware of the positive effects of the anti-Covid-19 vaccine, in particular the rapid obtaining of collective immunity, the return to normal life, putting an end to the economic crisis, to social isolation and disturbances at school level “, specifies Tayeb Hamdi who wishes to specify that to sensitize and convince reluctant people you have to tell them” if you do not want to be vaccinated, do it at least for others, for those around you , in order to ensure a return to normality and to the life before ”.
Since the beginning of the week, the distribution of the vaccine has started in all regions with a view to a large national vaccination campaign. So, a communication campaign and above all an explanation is currently more than necessary in order to convince undecided and hesitant people. “It is necessary to open and lead a national debate to explain, popularize and reassure citizens about the safety of vaccines, and assure them of their effectiveness. It is important to remember that currently we have 43 million people vaccinated around the world and there have been no serious side effects listed apart from headaches, aches or fever that appear in any case. what other vaccine, ”explains Dr. Hamdi.
The success of this campaign implies the involvement of doctors, public authorities and civil society. It should also focus on the decisive role of treating physicians, working in the private sector as well as in hospitals and other health centers, who should advise citizens and strengthen their confidence in vaccines. The medical profession and the health authorities should communicate transparently about the expected benefits of vaccination. It should be explained that clinical trials have so far revealed no serious adverse effects, except for a few cases of reactions in a limited number of people with a large number of allergies. As with any vaccine, pharmacovigilance watches are maintained over the coming months to detect and prevent the risk of possible adverse effects. In addition, the campaign should focus on the fact that the vaccine is a means and should not be seen as an end in itself. The ultimate goal is to control the pandemic, protect populations and above all be able to return to life before the pandemic.
According to the medical profession, the country has fallen behind at this level, because in order to involve all and a global membership, this campaign had to be launched quickly and well before the start of vaccination. However, the delay can be made up thanks to the daily involvement of health professionals with their patients. In addition, measures for easy and rapid access to the vaccine must be put in place, in particular the meticulous organization of the campaign by making appointments and guaranteeing continuous and quality services in the vaccination centers.
The Ministry of Health has already communicated the measures that the citizen will have to follow to be vaccinated. Thus, for making an appointment, a specific platform has been operational for several days and a toll-free number is also available to the general public to ask questions relating to vaccination. It should be noted that access to the entire population is guaranteed thanks to the free vaccine.

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