It was in 2019 when COVID-19 emerged in the world, causing unrest among individuals. The first wave resulted in many infections and death. The majority of activities across the globe came to a standstill as states embarked on Draconian measures. This year, however, although the number of infections continues to surge, the innovation of vaccines is slowly restoring things to normal.
The Vaccine Skepticism in Nigeria
Nonetheless, a wave of concern in some countries like Nigeria continues to slow the inoculation process. Despite the guarantees, concerns could jeopardize the vaccination campaign and jeopardize Nigeria’s authority’s goal of vaccinating millions of qualified people over the next two years.
Aniette Patrick, a journalist, believes that trust is a major problem for most Nigerians because leadership has been a major obstacle. People do not trust the system in place amid campaigns and enlightenment.
“I guess nonchalant attitude is one thing in Nigeria, and lack of confidence is another; people believe that what the government is offering as vaccines might not be the same as what others are receiving; that is the common man perception, and I believe that is the major factor,” she continued.
Vaccine hesitancy, according to experts, will not only jeopardize the COVID-19 response but will also keep Nigeria from achieving herd immunity.
The Covid-19 response was first launched in National Hospital by the Federal government, according to Tayo Haastrup, a Public Relations Officer from the National Hospital in Abuja. The first doctor in Nigeria to take the vaccine in the center was from the Hospital and two of their nurses.
Tayo also stated that they had a huge turnout of people coming to get the vaccine within the first two weeks, so they set up two locations. They created enough space, comprising of some rooms at the trauma center.
“I am sure it was because of the public awareness and media support during that period that inspired people to come out for the vaccine, but today, the turnout is diminishing and not as populated as it was when we first started,” he said.
Dr. Rais Ibrahim, Chief Consultant National Hospital, Abuja, says he has taken the vaccine as a healthcare provider to offer services to Nigerians, adding that there is no pain and that everyone can get it.
“People are still resistant to change and new things, but with time, they can see the importance of getting the vaccine to protect themselves and their families,” he said.
According to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, only 1 043 737 qualified Nigerians have received the first dose of the vaccine.