The surge in the number of individuals infected with the Covid 19 virus has indicated the need for a better management of the spread of this virus as it seems to be beyond control. Most countries have developed their vaccines to help curb the spread of this virus.
However, Africa as a continent is lagging in this aspect mainly due to inadequate technology and political will.
In Nigeria, the statistics shows that numerous people get infected daily, especially in ever boisterous Lagos state and this has resulted to the shipping in of nearly 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO on the second of March, 2021 to Abuja, the Nation’s capital.
A lot of controversy have risen from the past few weeks over the administration of vaccines in Nigeria and individuals have gone on social media to air their opinion on social media like twitter.
From all indications, many Nigerians are not eager to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Here are reasons most Nigerians won’t take the Covid 19 vaccine:
The major thrust of the slow acceptance to taking the COVID-19 Vaccine comes from misinformation. knowledge is power and Ignorance is the number one enemy of a person. Most Nigerians are misinformed about the vaccine. The social media has helped amplified the spread of rumors, and false information. There was a video that trended online passing out the information that the whites are planning to depopulate the world and are beginning from the Africans who supposedly are not useful to the world. This caused a lot of panic and most mindsets are being channeled to the fact that the Covid 19 vaccine is a tool to accomplish their aim. Hence, the rejection of the vaccine.
2). FALSE BELIEF OF A STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM IN BLACKS:
At the peak of the pandemic of the Coronavirus, it was speculated that the Africa continent suffered least purely because of a ‘superior immune system. The rationale behind this belief was justified that despite the poor sanitary condition in many African communities, the poor health systems, many of these communities in Africa recorded lower numbers of the COVID-19 infections and thrived.
However a number of studies have shown that the ‘Stronger Immunity Theory’ in Africans is not entirely true and it is at best anecdoctal.
Nigerians now falsely believe that if their immunity can shield them from contracting the virus even when it was at it’s peak, then it means their immunity is sufficient to ward off the virsu and they have no need for the COVID-19 Vaccine.
3). INFLUENCE OF RELIGION:
Nigerians Are innately Religious. Many Nigerians believe so much in their religious leaders and the beliefs. Asides from a handful who do not subscribe to the existence of a divine being, Nigerians pride themselves in living daily as religious persons.
Many Religious leaders have seen the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus pandemic as an attack on the religious institution, and debunked the information as a propaganda from the Western World. Followers and adherents of religious institutions, who believe in the word of their leader, have decided to heed the propaganda call, paying less attention to the science of the COVID-19 pandemic virus including all preventive measures that reduce spread of the virus.
They also believe in the supernatural healing, they believe that they can not be sick and if they fall sick, God can heal them, so do you really think such an individual will be willing to take the Vaccine? Of course Not.
Some even believe it is an insult to their faith taking medications or vaccines.
4). CHRONIC NEGLECT OF WELFARE OF CITIZENS BY THE GOVERNMENTS
Nigerians generally believe the government (present or past) care less about them. This conclusion was made based on the individual opinion of randomly selected Nigerians on issues pertaining to the country. So there is a base line cynicism towards the government – in fact many question the attention of government, because they are used to catering and caring for themselves – economically and socially.
5). POOR ACCESS TO INFORMATION
This is applicable to those in the rural areas who are not well informed about the current state of the country or the world at large due to poor access to social media and other communication devices such as television, radio, etc.
Hence, bringing a vaccine to them of which they do not know about will not be readily welcomed.
Research has shown that the percentage of people not willing to receive the vaccine surpasses those that are willing to in Nigeria.