50% Nigerians are willing to take COVID-19 vaccines- Expert

Prof. Ikemefuna Uzochukwu, the Principal Investigator, Drug Design and Informatics Group, says 50 per cent of Nigerians are willing to take COVID-19 vaccines.

Uzochukwu made this known on Thursday in a keynote address at the ongoing Virtual Conference of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAPHARM) and Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE)’s Media Week.

He spoke on: “Drug Use and Misuse During The COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Uzochukwu, also a former Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, said that the finding was the outcome of a study conducted in a university community.

According to him, 42.7 per cent are not willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine due to some factors identified in the study.

The expert gave reasons for COVID-19 hesitancy to include its safety and effectiveness.

He listed others to include source of vaccine, trust deficit, fear of genetic modification, hastily produced, mark of the beast and too many conspiracy theories

Uzochukwu said factors that influenced COVID-19 perception in the study were marital status (odd ratio-2.07); age ratio (odd ratio-0.54) and religious affiliation (odd ratio-0.34).

He said that many Nigerians were hesitant to take the vaccine because there was no proper education on it.

According to him, if there is proper education, 66.6 per cent of Nigerians would like to take the vaccine.

He said that the way forward was to seek healthcare early whenever sick; get prescription from qualified physicians; always get drug information from the pharmacists; shun conspiracy theories and continue to observe COVID-19 protocol.

“Drugs, including vaccines, are good when used for the intended and approved purpose. Drug can cause harm or killed when abused or misused.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is real. Vaccinate and protect yourself, and your loved ones for the common good,” the expert said. (NAN)