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The Role Of Television Media On Disseminating Covid-19 Vaccination Information In Nigeria

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background Of The Study

The putative “coronavirus” is thought to be a zoonotic virus that causes acute respiratory tract infections and deadly pneumonia in humans (Probasco, 2020). It was originally found in December 2019 in Wuhan, China’s capital of Hubei Province, and originated from animal sources before spreading to humans. According to Probasco (2020), the symptoms of the new coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and diarrhea. Severity of the infections can cause pneumonia, renal failure, and death.

The intensity of the virus prompted the World Health Organization to declare it a global pandemic that had taken many lives, causing widespread alarm and contributing to many people worrisomeness (Zhou, 2020). In view of this,  Quinones (2020) maintains that the impacts on public and mental health, social structures, and local and global economies have been enormously disruptive in practically every nation.

While numerous steps were implemented to limit and minimize the spread of the virus, efforts were made would formulate a vaccine for the lethal pandemic, which was accomplished in 2020. (Heymann, 2021).

The vaccine was designed to confer acquired immunity against the virus that causes COVID19, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2). According to Gwaha (2021), the COVID-19 immunization is a critical component in limiting the extent to which people become infected by the virus. Furthermore, to ensure effective distribution, acceptance, and utilization of the COVID-19 vaccine as postulated by Ukpong (2021), television as a form of mass media played a significant role. The mass media, generally, are mandated with the fundamental role of educating, creating awareness, and informing the public during pandemics, and television is not an exception (Gever & Ezeah, 2020). Similarly, Hanitzsch, (2019) noted that d During a pandemic, the television takes on the role of an educator, teaching the public about health concerns so that they can be mentally prepared to avoid the spread of a pandemic.

Coverage in the view of Gever and Ezeah (2020) is the most effective approach for which television disseminates, and keep the public informed during a pandemic. This was achieved by frequently reporting on the health implications of COVID-19, advocating appropriate health practices, and recommending measures to help in pandemic containment, as well as advertising the need for, availability of, and enrollment procedure for COVID-19 immunization (Apuke, & Tunca, 2019).  More so, the television media as postulated by Apuke and Tunca (2019), plays its role through high coverage of news, and visual framing, as well as information about the pandemic and related vaccine needs. Given the importance of television media in vaccine information transmission as discussed above, it is vital to investigate the function of television media in delivering COVID-19 immunization information in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The initial occurrences of COVID-19 were traced back to Wuhan, China, and the virus spread mostly through human-to-human transmission. Tang (2021) said that human-to-human transmission of the virus is likely to occur mostly through intimate contact with infected people’s respiratory droplets, which are often formed by sneezing and coughing. As a result of the virus’s virulence, many control and preventative measures were developed and executed (Chinn & Soroka, 2020). The COVID-19 vaccine, on the other hand, was developed to eradicate the pandemic among humans. The COVID-19 vaccination is a critical component in limiting the extent to which people become infected with the virus. However, the vaccine’s objective would not have been successfully served if mass media like as television had not been used for mass information transmission (Engler, 2021). According to Ukpong (2021), in order to keep the public informed, the media, like healthcare personnel, have been working hard to assure the virus’s eradication and the use of the COVID-19 vaccine. In accordance with the aforementioned, journalists have been on the front lines, reporting on the cases, the death toll, and the precautions that the general public should take to prevent getting the virus, including the necessity for, availability of, and enrollment in the COVID-19 vaccination. In addition to alerting people about the pandemic, television media works to shape public opinion regarding the virus, its method of transmission, and the preventative steps that can help to mitigate it, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine, as much misinformation has circulated on social media platforms. In the light of the above, the study role of television media on disseminating covid-19 vaccination information in Nigeria.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

Generally, the study is focused on evaluating the role of television media in disseminating COVID-19 vaccination information in Nigeria. To achieve this, the study will specifically:

  1. Identify whether the television media effectively created public awareness about the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.
  2. Ascertain whether the television media educated the public on the need for COVID-19 vaccination.
  3. Ascertain whether the television media played a significant role in the effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
  4. Ascertain whether the television media promoted health-behavioral changes among the mass who have been misinformed about the COVID-19 vaccine.

1.4 Research Question

The following questions will guide this study:

1)        Did the television media effectively create public awareness of the availability of COVID-19 vaccines?

2)        Did the television media educate the public on the need for COVID-19 vaccination?

3)        Did the television media play a significant role in the effective distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines?

4)        Did the television media promoted health behavioral changes among mass who has been misinformed about the Covid-19 vaccine?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study will be most useful to the Nigerian Television Authority as well as other mass media authorities; the study will re-enlighten them on the irreplaceable role and paramount position occupied by television in addressing public health issues and the need to ensure efficiency in supplying the public with reliable, accurate, and educative information.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the role of television media in disseminating COVID-19 vaccination information in Nigeria..

1.6 Scope Of The Study

Generally, this study is channeled towards evaluating the role of the television media in disseminating COVID-19 vaccination information in Nigeria. The study however will specifically identify if the television media effectively created public awareness on the availability of Covid-19 vaccines, ascertain if the television media educated the public on the right need for Covid-19 vaccination, ascertain if the television media played a significant role in the effective distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, and ascertain if the television media promoted health behavioral changes among mass who has been misinformed about the Covid-19 vaccine. Thus, respondents for this study will be obtained from television viewers in Illorin, Kwara State.

1.7. Limitations Of The Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Mass Media: This is a diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication

Television media: This is a television set, a television show, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment, news, and sports.

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

Vaccine: a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity against one or several diseases, prepared from the causative agent of a disease, its products, or a synthetic substitute, treated to act as an antigen without inducing the disease.

Reference

Apuke, O. D., & Tunca, E. A. (2019). A comparative content analysis of television and blog coverage of internally displaced persons in Nigeria.

Chinn, S., & Soroka, S. (2020). Politicization and polarization in COVID-19 news coverage.

Engler(2021). Myocarditis Following Immunization With mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines.

Gever, V. C., & Ezeah, G. (2020). The media and health education : Did Nigerian media provide sufficient warning messages on coronavirus disease?

Gwaha(2021), Boosting COVID-19 Vaccine uptake in Nigeria.

Heymann(2021). SARS to novel coronavirus–old lessons and new lessons.

Probasco, (2020).Unraveling Attributes of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in the US.

Quinones, N. (2020). News coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic

Tang S(2020). Effects of media reporting on mitigating spread of COVID-19

Ukpong, E. S. (2021). Assessment of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) ongoing programme awareness campaigns on corona virus in Nigeria.

Zhou, (2020). Effects of media reporting on mitigating spread of COVID-19 in the early phase of the outbreak.

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