50 percent of Nigerians have agreed to take the COVID-19 vaccine, this is according to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
Executive Director the agency, Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during a media briefing at the state house on Thursday.
He said 25 percent of the citizens are still reluctant about being vaccinated, mostly as a result of fear.
However, he did not say how the agency arrived at the figure.
On Tuesday, Nigeria received the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19. The virus has killed 1,940 citizens out of the 157,000 infected.
But many citizens still have misconceptions about the vaccine including unverified claims that it changes the DNA and contains microchips — all of which health authorities have dismissed.
Shuaib also said the percentage of citizens who were reluctant to take the vaccine dropped from 75 to 25.
“We have seen in the last few weeks how up to 75 percent indicating that they will not be taking this vaccine to just about 25 percent who are saying they will definitely not be taking this vaccine,” he said.
“We have about 50 percent that say, yes, they will, and 25 percent that are not so sure. So, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.”
The NPHCDA boss said the hesitancy about the vaccine is not only in Nigeria but across the world.
He said to overcome this, health authorities must continue to provide the right information to citizens, adding: “We cannot dismiss their cynicism and assume that they do not know. It is our responsibility as public health workers to convince people that these vaccines are safe.”