Battling vaccine misinformation in Liberia
As the country responds to an outbreak of polio, UNICEF is working with partners to ensure families receive accurate information – and the polio vaccine.
By Phillip Hatcher-Moore, Benson Ibeabuchi and Dana Toerien | UNICEF|
MONROVIA, Liberia – The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll on countries around the world, straining health systems, disrupting children’s education and leaving millions of families struggling to make ends meet. And it is also having additional knock-on effects that are putting children’s lives at risk, including in Liberia.
Liberia was declared free of polio in 2008. But for countries to remain free from polio, children still need to be vaccinated. The COVID-19 pandemic complicated those efforts, forcing countries including Liberia to temporarily suspend routine immunization programmes. But now that many of these programmes are resuming, vaccinators are facing a new problem in addition to the usual logistical ones – convincing parents to allow their children to be vaccinated amidst a pandemic that has seen an explosion of misinformation about vaccines.