“I’m looking Healthy and Strong, because I was vaccinated”

Cyril Okon Egbo, Student, Calabar, Nigeria

A young man holding his COVID-19 vaccination card as he stands in a barbershop
UNICEF 2022/UN0629006/Rooftop
22 April 2022

After a wave of misinformation raced through the university, Cyril Okon Egbo, a student turned barber in Nigeria's Calabar state, received his vaccination against COVID-19. Many of his peers took a step back, claiming that they were not ready to be vaccinated because the vaccine would make them sick.

But, for Cyril, the risks associated with not being vaccinated against the coronavirus was more significant than the effect of the vaccine. Cyril took a step forward and entered the vaccination queue.

A young barber taking a care of his young client's hair
UNICEF 2022/UN0629011/Rooftop

At first, I was afraid of taking the vaccine. But it came to a time when I found out that COVID-19 was a very deadly virus.

Cyril Okon Egbo

"I took a bold step to take the vaccine, so as to protect myself from contracting the virus and also probably stop [spreading] the virus to others.”

Cyril is a member of U-report, a free SMS-based network that enables adolescents to report on issues impacting them and their communities while also receiving real-time information and comments on new projects or campaigns.

This platform came in handy for Cyril as he rallied his peers to get vaccinated.

“It is important for me to be a U-Reporter because I get firsthand information from U-report and I share it with my community. I tell them how good the vaccine is, I share with them that I'm looking healthy [and] strong since I've taken the vaccine. I also talk to them to try and get vaccinated.”

When asked what he would tell someone who is unsure about getting vaccinated, Cyril answers; "One thing I would tell them is that I'm looking strong and healthy, therefore they need to look the same way. So I'll tell them to get vaccinated as well."