Vaccination is a lifesaver

Maryam Ahmad Alhassan, a community mobilizer in Kano, works to stop rumours about vaccines.

UNICEF WCARO
A voluntary community mobilizer holding her immunization card
UNICEF WCARO
29 April 2022

“I feel comfortable, because I noticed that when I am vaccinated, I can mobilize everybody to be vaccinated. I'm a mobiliser, and I'm here to make sure that everybody is safe. If I am healthy, everything will go fine in my family, but if I am sick, even the children are not healthy.”

Maryam Ahmad Alhassan is a community mobiliser in Kano, Nigeria. When the COVID vaccine was first introduced in Kano state, Maryam got vaccinated, marking the start of her journey to ensuring that people receive accurate information.

For Maryam, sieving facts from fiction was critical to boosting the COVID-19 vaccine uptake in Kano state.  

“There were rumors going around. So, when I was vaccinated, they watched to see what will happen. Nothing happened. They started asking me questions about the vaccine. I told them the vaccine is safe.”

The most frequently asked question for Maryam was whether the vaccine was safe. To reassure her community about the vaccine's safety, she began by mobilizing her own family for vaccination.

“I told my children and my husband to get vaccinated. They took the vaccine. I got their vaccine cards and showed them to the people. I said ‘look, we are vaccinated.’ So, they said they will come for the vaccination.”

 

Maryam has done an outstanding job of dispelling myths and relaying facts about the COVID vaccine in order to protect her people from contracting COVID-19. She says, “It is very important for people to look after their health, because if one person has COVID-19, the entire community is in danger. We have to save ourselves.”

Maryam’s message to someone who hasn't been vaccinated is; “Vaccinate yourself to save your life and the lives of those around you."