Reducing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and improving vaccine uptake in Nigeria


  • Amenze Eguavoen Programs Department, Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, Lagos
  • Heidi J. Larson Department of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom; Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington
  • Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko Management Department, Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, Lagos
  • Toluwanimi Ojeniyi Programs Department, Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund, Lagos



COVID-19, vaccination, hesitancy


By May 30, 2022, there were 526,182,662 confirmed COVID- 19 cases and 6,286,057 deaths globally; of which Nigeria had recorded 256,028 confirmed cases and 3143 deaths. By the same time, Nigeria had received a total of 93.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, enough to vaccinate 25% of the population; however, only 27.4 million people (13.3% of the population) had received at least one dose of the vaccine. This article examines available evidence on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Nigeria and makes recommendations for improving its uptake. Major causes of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy identified in Nigeria were concerns around vaccine efficacy and safety, disbelief in the existence and severity of the disease, and distrust of the government. To reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccine coverage in Nigeria, mapping vaccine acceptance and hesitancy across geographies and demographics is needed, as well as increased stakeholder communication, and effective community engagement.

Download data is not yet available.


EU-LAC. COVID-19 vaccines: the global challenge of equitable distribution and access; 2021. Available from:

McDermott A. Core concept: herd immunity is an important – and often misunderstood – public health phenomenon. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021;118:e2107692118.

WHO. Coronavirus (COVID-19) dashboard. Available from: Accessed: 31 May 2022

WHO. Available from: Accessed: 31 May 2022.

Mathieu E, Ritchie H, Rodés-Guirao L, et al. Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Available from: . Accessed: 31 May 2022

Solís Arce JS, Warren SS, Meriggi NF, et al. COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and hesitancy in low- and middle-income countries. Nat Med 2021;27:1385-94.

Sallam M, Al-Sanafi M, Sallam M. A global map of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates per country: an updated concise narrative review. J Multidiscip Healthc 2022;15:21-45.

Tobin EA, Okonofua M, Adeke A, Obi A. Willingness to accept a COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria: a population-based cross-sectional study. CAJPH 2021;7:53-60.

Chiedozie AP, Chukwuebuka OJ, Chidimma CF, et al. Willingness to accept a potential COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria. American Journal Medical Sciences Medicine 2021;9:1-5.

Eniade OD, Olarinmoye A, Otovwe A, et al. Willingness to accept COVID-19 Vaccine and its determinants among Nigeria citizens: a web-based cross-sectional study. J Adv Med Med Res 2021;33:13-22.

United Nations Children’s Fund, The State of the World’s Children 2023: For every child, vaccination, UNICEF Innocenti – Global Office of Research and Foresight, Florence, April 2023. Available from Accessed: 31 May 2023

Wiegand, M. and Eagan, R. L. and Karimov, R. and Lin, et al. Global Declines in Vaccine Confidence from 2015 to 2022: A Large-Scale Retrospective Analysis. Available at SSRN: or

Olomofe CO, Soyemi VK, Udomah BF, et al. Predictors of uptake of a potential COVID-19 vaccine among Nigerian adults. medRxiv 2021. DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.28.20248965

Usman S, Bologna L, Stamidis KV. The CORE group partners project in north east Nigeria: community engagement strategies to combat skepticism and build trust for vaccine acceptance. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2019;101:68-73.

Warigon C, Mkanda P, Banda R, et al. The journalists initiatives on immunisation against polio and improved acceptance of the polio vaccine in northern Nigeria 2007-2015. J Infect Dis 2015;213:S86-S90.

Uzochukwu IC, Eleje GU, Nwankwo CH, et al. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among staff and students in a Nigerian tertiary educational institution. TAI 2021;8. DOI:

Fadda M, Albanese E, Suggs LS. When a COVID-19 vaccine is ready, will we all be ready for it? Int J Public Health 2020;65:711-2.

Adigwe OP. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and willingness to pay: emergent factors from a cross-sectional study in Nigeria. Vaccine X 2021;9:100112.

Anorue LI, Ugwu AC, Ugboaja SU, et al. Communicating COVID-19 vaccine safety: knowledge and attitude among residents of South East, Nigeria. Infect Drug Resist 2021;14:3785-94.

Afolabi MO, Wariri O, Saidu Y, et al. Tracking the uptake and trajectory of COVID-19 vaccination coverage in 15 West African countries: an interim analysis. BMJ Glob Health 2021;6:e007518.

Oleribe O, Ezechi O, Osita-Oleribe P, et al. Public perception of COVID-19 management and response in Nigeria: a cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open 2020;10:e041936.

Afolabi AA, Ilesanmi OS. Dealing with vaccine hesitancy in Africa: the prospective COVID-19 vaccine context. Pan Afr Med J 2021;38:3.

Ezeibe CC, Ilo C, Ezeibe EN, et al. Political distrust and the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. Glob Public Health 2020;15:1753-66.

World Economic Forum. The global competitiveness index, country profile, Nigeria; 2017-2018. Available from: Accessed: 27 May 2022.

Richardson ET, McGinnis T, Frankfurter R. Ebola and the narrative of mistrust. BMJ Glob Health 2019;4:e001932.

Wonodi C, Obi-Jeff C, Adewumi F, et al. Conspiracy theories and misinformation about COVID-19 in Nigeria: implications for vaccine demand generation communications. Vaccine 2022;40:2114-21.

Omaka-Amari LN, Aleke CO, Obande-Ogbuinya NE, et al. Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Nigeria: preventive and control challenges within the first two months of outbreak. Afr J Reprod Health 2020;24:87-97.

Africa CDC. Africa CDC working group Nigeria report; 2022. Available from Accessed: 27 May 2023.

Ishiekwene A. Using Covid-19 donations to give charity a bad name; 2020. Available from: Accessed: 10 May 2022.

Acheampong T, Akorsikumah EA, Osae-Kwapong J, et al. Examining vaccine hesitancy in Sub-Saharan Africa: a survey of the knowledge and attitudes among adults to receive COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana. Vaccines (Basel) 2021;9:814.

Fraym. Geospatial analysis of vaccine hesitancy; 2022. Available from: Accessed: 27 May 2023.

Machingaidze S, Wiysonge CS. Understanding COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Nat Med 2021;27:1338-9.

African Union; 2020. Available from: Accessed: 10 May 2022.

WHO. Stakeholder management: world health organization vaccine safety supporting document 2017. Available from: Accessed: 27 May 2023.




How to Cite

Eguavoen, A., Larson, H. J., Chinye-Nwoko, F., & Ojeniyi, T. (2023). Reducing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and improving vaccine uptake in Nigeria. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 14(5).



Brief Reports

Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.