FG fears many Nigerians will reject covid-19 vaccination ~PTF
Nigeria on Wednesday said it envisages that many Nigerians may not accept to be vaccinated due to safety concerns just as the country prepares to receive its first batch of covid-19 vaccines in January.
“The biggest challenge we will have with the vaccine is not going to be the logistics, the biggest challenge will be the public acceptance of the safety of the vaccines and allowing themselves to be vaccinated, the challenge will be very similar to the one we have with polio,” National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Sani Aliyu said.
Aliyu, who spoke on Channels TV made comparison with the challenges faced by the government in convincing many Nigerians to accept polio vaccination and came to a conclusion that such could repeat itself with the Covid-19 vaccine.
Aliyu said about 40 million Nigerians are expected to be vaccinated when the country receives the first batch of vaccines.
He, however, said like the challenge faced during polio vaccinations, many Nigerians would hesitate to take Covid vaccine shots.
His claim, however, contradicted the poll by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which says about 90 percent of Nigerians have indicated their willingness to get tested for Covid-19.
The report also stated that about 89 percent of Nigerians polled by the bureau showed their willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 if a vaccine is provided for free.
Aliyu, however, said, “We have continued to work with the Federal Ministry of Health and Primary Healthcare Development Agency. The NPHCDA has a lot of ideas for delivering vaccines across the country.
“They were involved with the polio vaccination and even at the moment, they are responsible for the delivery of the growth in child vaccination across the country, so they have a lot of experience.
“What is particularly challenging with some of these vaccines has to do with storage where you have to store them at -70 degrees and transport them around the country before you are able to use them.
“A lot of work is going on behind the scene. The NPHCDA has a committee, the minister has set up an advisory committee and the PTF is now coming in to make sure we coordinate effectively.
Aliyu, who also said vaccines alone won’t help Nigerians out of Covid, advised Nigerians to observe all preventive measures including the use of face masks, maintaining social distancing, regular handwashing, amongst others.