United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched a challenge for all 13.3 million U-Reporters in Africa to help get vaccines to the unvaccinated. This is coming one week after COVAX delivered its billionth dose in Rwanda.

UNICEF aims this would improve access and build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines. Through the #GiveitaShot challenge, UNICEF aims to activate young people in motivating those eligible in their community to get vaccinated. Covid-19 information and advocacy messages have been packaged and disseminated via SMS, Facebook Messenger and other communication channels.

With an initial focus on six countries on the continent (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe), the U-Report #GiveitaShot challenge will be rolled-out for eight weeks. Weekly messages will be sent on U-Report to encourage young people to learn about COVID-19 vaccines. They will be engaged in community actions (both online and offline).

Nigeria and South Africa celebrities, also U-Report supporters, Kate Henshaw and Maps Maponyane are teaming up with UNICEF on this initiative.

“Africa has been battling COVID-19 for two years now. At a time of Omicron, it is more important than ever to get vaccines to the unvaccinated,” Kate Henshaw said.

“If we want to combat misinformation, it is key to mobilize the continent’s U-Reporters and provide much-needed information on Covid-19 vaccines to save people’s lives”, Maps Maponyane added.

It is estimated that about 10 per cent of the adult population on the African continent is vaccinated.

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