Home visits to combat COVID-19
Thousands of UNICEF-supported community outreach workers are going from house to house to mobilise communities to get vaccinated against coronavirus.
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A few days ago, Jean received an unexpected visit at his home. It was Brigitte, a UNICEF-supported community outreach worker who was touring the neighbourhood to raise awareness amongst the residents of the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
Seated in the yard, Jean and Brigitte discussed at length the risks associated with the coronavirus and the benefits of vaccination. Brigitte always leads by example, explaining that she herself is vaccinated. “If a person is vaccinated, they are protecting themselves because if they get the disease, it will manifest itself in a simple form, but an unvaccinated person will develop a severe form and may die,” she says.
Although he had received a first dose, Jean was reluctant to receive the second. He had heard a rumour that the second dose was being imposed to shorten people’s lives and this had frightened him. A lot of false information continues to circulate around the country, reducing people’s confidence in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Prompted by the discussion with Brigitte, Jean realised that vaccination is not new and that vaccines have been saving lives for a very long time. “You would see a child vaccinated against measles resist illness whereas the unvaccinated child was weak, tired and could quickly die,” says Jean.
Reassured that vaccination is a safe way to protect oneself against COVID-19, Jean went to a nearby vaccination centre. After receiving his second dose of vaccine and the 15 minutes observation period had passed, Jean proudly met up with Brigitte to show her his newly completed vaccination certificate. ”If we are all vaccinated, this disease won’t do anything,” Jean concluded.
UNICEF and its partners have mobilised more than 270,000 community outreach workers over the past few weeks to intensively raise awareness about vaccination against COVID-19. More than 10 million people have been reached and 2 million have pre-registered for vaccination h support from the Governements of the United States and Japan, the German cooperation, Gavi, ECHO and CDC.
UNICEF wishes to express sincere gratitude to the Governements of the United States and Japan, the German cooperation, Gavi, the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and CDC for their support to rollout COVID-19 vaccines in DRC.