JAKARTA-In the midst of a pandemic, the media is not only able to provide true and valid information. As the fourth pillar of democracy, the media can also play a role in providing education about COVID-19, especially about vaccines and vaccination programs.
One of the factors for the success of the MR vaccination program in East Java in mid-2017 cannot be separated from the role of the media. The socialization and education that was intensively carried out by the media together with the East Java Health Office produced results with a high level of public awareness of participating in the measles-rubella or measles-rubella (MR) immunization program at that time.
“Media really helps our job in carrying out immunization through education and outreach to the public. Media helps disseminate information, so that people are willing to be immunized, “said Dr. dr. Kohar Hari Santoso, Director of RSSA Malang and Chair of the East Java COVID-19 Task Force Tracing Team in a Productive Dialogue with the theme ‘Learning from the Success of the MR Vaccine in East Java and the Role of the Media in Vaccination’ online at the Media Center Committee for Handling COVID-19 and Recovery National Economy (KPCPEN), Tuesday (17/11/2020).
The former Head of the East Java Health Office admitted that at first many people refused due to the lack of information provided by health workers. So that a lot of wrong and incorrect information circulates in the community.
For example, there is still a chance that there will be fever or fever after immunization. So at that time there was an incident when a child died and it was said that he had been given the vaccine. After our team of clinical experts went to the field, it turned out that the child was sick with dengue fever, ”he said.
Apart from involving the media, dr.Kohar said that he did a cultural approach. The diversity of cultural backgrounds as well as the religious level of the people in East Java was a challenge for the local government to carry out MR immunization efforts at that time.
“To form a positive public perception, we will go downstairs and visit religious figures, community leaders and key figures. After we socialize it to them and they are aware of the importance of vaccination, usually they will convey it to their respective communities. But before that, we first increase the capacity of our officers before going to the field. “
Dr Kohar admitted, not all of their efforts went smoothly. Even in some places, there was still rejection, until officers did not dare to enter the area. “But we still take an approach to provide a good and correct understanding. Moreover, immunization is not only MR, other routine immunizations must also be carried out and socialized, “he said.
Meanwhile, Wahyoe Boediwardhana, a journalist from the Sahabat Anak Journalist community, said that media involvement can be used as a spearhead in disseminating and educating the community.
We have concern, have the same vision and mission. We want to help the community, educate something that is positive in nature related to children’s education, “said Wahyoe in the same forum.
He added, in conducting media socialization one must understand the character of the people in each region in East Java – which are very diverse. According to him, the biggest challenge faced by journalists is fighting hoax news about vaccines.
“We prefer to flood the public with positive, correct information. So we don’t want to head to head with hoaks maker. We feel when we head to head with them, we will spend more energy, it will be in vain, ”explained Wahyoe.
So that all news about vaccines reaches the public correctly. Wahyoe and the East Java Sahabat Anak Journalist community also continue to learn, increase knowledge and understanding of immunization. “Before we decided to convey a positive message to the public. It was these comrades (journalists) that we discussed first. We share the knowledge as much as possible, “he said.
Until now, various hoaxes regarding vaccines continue to flood the public. Recognize, the characteristics of the news that are not true, and when in doubt, ask directly to experts, such as doctors and experts about trusted vaccines. Author: Kiwantoro