Factors responsible for non-acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine in some states-CITAD
The Center for Information Technology Development (CITAD) has identified factors responsible for slow COVID-19 uptake, after closely monitoring and evaluation of issues around, and reasons of non-acceptance of the vaccine in six states.
Hamza Ibrahim, Public Education on COVID-19 Vaccine program Manager stated this, Thursday, at a news conference organised by CITAD.
He noted that fear of side of adverse effects of the vaccines is one of the factors identified by CITAD in which it discovered that many people are reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccine because of the fear of adverse effects it may have on them.
“The lack of adequate information and enlightenment on the vaccine and its adverse effects subject people to believing lies, misinformation and disinformation on the vaccine particularly within groups with low literacy and exposure level or with no access to any of the media, or information outlet.”
According to him CITAD has also established that another major challenge to COVID-19 vaccination which is “Healthcare Workers Hesitancy Towards the Vaccine”, a situation where healthcare workers either involved in the vaccination exercise or not involved but refuse to take the vaccine.
It was gathered that some healthcare workers did not trust or believe in the efficacy of the vaccine.
“It was gathered that lack of risk communication strategy on COVID19 vaccination exercise in many states remains challenge hampering the information and communication chain. Risks related to communication around the vaccine are not studied and managed, therefore lack of a clear risk communication strategy gives room for all sorts of fake and disinformation to flourish and by extension distances people from taking the vaccine.”
CITAD also noted the Need to Review Nigeria Vaccine Policy to Incorporate COVID-19 Vaccine Needs. “while we note there is a Nigeria Vaccine Policy, we however regret to state that the policy has focused more on local vaccine production and supply.
The Center recommended that state governments should broker synergy between public health physicians at their disposal, primary healthcare development agencies, the media and other capable hands to develop a context-based strategy/intervention around educating the populace through various means-radio programmes in local languages, advising that state governments should work with relevant stakeholders to develop and implement a context-oriented risk communication strategy with a view to mitigate issues being brought by lack of the strategy.