Red Cross: The Cause For Low COVID-19 Vaccination Identified


Both the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRSC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have said that proper and effective communication is critical for mitigating the public health risks that are associated with the Covid-19 pandemic as well as also addressing any rumours and misconceptions surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.

This was submitted by the participants of the 2-day capacity building workshop that was organised by the IFRC and the NRSC on Social mobilisation for the COVID-19 Vaccine.

When Nigeria began the start of the COVID-19 vaccination in March of 2021, only a total of 12,588,718 eligible persons have been fully vaccinated which is 12.2% of the nation’s population. Only 18% of the entire eligible population which makes a total of 20,151,241 people have been partially vaccinated. Hesitancy, non-compliance, a lack of confidence in vaccines, and inequalities in the distribution of the vaccine are to blame for the low level of vaccine uptake in the country.


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As part of the efforts to address any concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines, the Nigerian Red Cross and Red Crescent Society along with their international partners organised the workshop to build the capacity of its members to train other volunteers for effective vaccine coverage through an awareness campaign on the need for vaccination, especially for people at the grassroots.

This is the reason why Mr. Maji Huntuwa, the IFRC Senior Immunisation Officer, has argued that vaccinations remain the ultimate step towards reducing severe illnesses from the pandemic as well as saving the lives of the affected persons. “The right information is needed to be passed to these people to make them accept the vaccine”, He said as he expressed his concerns over the inadequate information and rumours surrounding the safety of the vaccine.

Dr. Manir Jega, the NRSC Health and Care Coordinator states that, “from official records about a million vaccines will be expiring every month from now till September if nothing is done”.

Mr. Dan Usman of the Kogi State branch and Rabiu Musa of the Bauchi State branch of the Nigerian Red Cross Society agreed that the exchange of ideas and scaling up good practice would reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. The risk communication and community engagement activities are targeting 5 states of the federation; Kogi, Edo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, and Bayelsa states as they are states with low vaccine uptake.