Despite these assurances, however, doubts persist which may further threaten the vaccination exercise, and possibly thwart the Nigeria’s authority target to vaccinate millions of eligible citizens within the next two years.
Aniette Patrick, journalist, says she thinks the issue of trust is a major challenge for most Nigerians because leadership has been a major challenge and people tend not to trust the system in place despite the campaigns and enlightenment.
“In Nigeria, I guess nonchalant attitude is one thing and lack of trust is another, people feel what the government is giving as vaccines may not be the same thing others are receiving, that is the common man understanding and I think that is the major factor,” she added.
Experts say vaccine hesitancy will not only threaten COVID-19 response but prevent Nigeria from achieving herd immunity.
The Public Relation officer, National Hospital, Abuja Tayo Haastrup reiterated that the Covid 19 response was first launched in National Hospital by the Federal government and on record, the first Doctor in Nigeria to take the vaccination in the center, is from the Hospital with two of their nurses.
Well within the first two weeks, we had a large turnout of people coming to take the vaccination and we created two venues for the vaccination. At the trauma center, we created some rooms there and we also we created another
“I am sure it was because of the awareness and media support within the period that encouraged people to come out for the vaccination but at today, the turnout is decreasing not as populated as it used to be when we started,” he said.
Chief consultant National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Rais Ibrahim, says as a healthcare provider, he has taken the vaccine so he can render his services to Nigerians adding that there is no pain and recommend everyone should get it.
‘People are always resistant to change and something new but with time people will see the benefit of taking the vaccine so that you protect yourself and by extension protect your family,” he said.
A recent release by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, showed that only1, 043, 737 eligible Nigerians have so far been vaccinated with the first dose.