By Sr. Sylvia Atim, MSMMC

The general public is urged not reject COVID-19 vaccines but to welcome it as a preventive measure to fight the deadly pandemic. Speaking to a group of Consecrated Persons hailing from both health and communication apostolates in an international virtual meeting last week, Dr. Ekong Joseph called upon the Consecrated Persons to build hope in the hearts of a wounded and fearing population due to CORONAVIRUS.

Dr Ekong challenged the Consecrated Persons to help the public shun from fearing and desist from myths about the COVID -19 vaccine but to receive it for protection and prevention. He said that giving hopeful messages such as; “life is a gift of God that we have the privilege to share, protect and celebrate with and for our brothers and sisters,” will help to rubbish the myths about the vaccines.

“We can have real hope in the face of COVID-19! Generally, COVID-19 ailments are mild; most people who contracted, COVID-19 recovered; and every person can contribute to preventing new cases by observing SOPs,” he further noted.

Ekong elaborated that communication needs to be strengthened especially on the preventive measures of the pandemic in line with vaccination so that all people may receive the vaccines to curb down the spread of the Virus.

“Advocacy should be championed by Religious Sisters through transparent processes based on shared values as part of their evangelization to save the World from the deadly pandemic. Religious leaders should have greater influence in mitigation and prevention of COVID 19 through building hope, gratitude and compassion using virtual sermons, meetings, dissemination of messages through the Radio and Television, Doctor urged.

He lauded the joint efforts being made by health workers and the media saying that COVID-19 can be defeated so that people may have life and have it in abundance (Cf Jn. 10:10). He said that incredible actions of kindness are taking place around the world to stop the spread of COVID-19 in order promote life. “In the face of any challenge, we stand –in compassion, hope and love,’’ Dr. Ekong noted.

Globally about 218,476,520 contracted the deadly virus, 4,543,731 succumbed to it and 5,339,384,323 have now been vaccinated.