Covid-19 vaccine: Prioritise journalists as front-liners, body charges FG

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The Fourth Estate Professional Society (FPS) has called on the Federal Government to immediately include journalists on the list of first beneficiaries of the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination exercise across the country.

The body particularly frowned at a situation where petrol attendants were profiled as front-line workers to benefit in the first phase of the roll-out without including journalists.

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FPS in a statement issued by its Abuja Chapter Chairman, Mr Kehinde Osasona and Secretary, Emmanuel Ekwe, in Abuja, described the development as worrisome.

According to the association, journalists in other climes like China and Zimbabwe were included in the Covid-19 vaccination priority list alongside front line health workers.

“Imagine in Lagos state, primary healthcare board listed petrol and health workers among front liners and journalists were not listed. It is not fair that journalists who are vulnerable and yet keep risking their lives like health workers have now been exposed to the virus.

“For us, it has become mandatory for our colleagues in the line of duty to be prioritised once vaccinated, they could perform their duties of informing and educating the public about the vaccine and also help in dispelling any form of misinformation and disinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine,” the body said.

The body, however, hailed the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 (PTF) for prioritising journalists covering the beat.

FPS urged governments at all levels to do the needful, saying that Nigerians still rely on information from journalists as authentic.

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