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How Do Nigerians Feel About the Covid-19 Vaccine?

Updated: Jun 1, 2021

If 2020 was the year the coronavirus pandemic dominated the news cycle and wreaked havoc on Nigerians' lives, Covid-19 vaccinations have dominated 2021 headlines. Since March, as a cadre of widely-publicized vaccines gradually became available, we surveyed more than 3,000 Nigerians about their awareness of the Covid-19 vaccines, willingness to be vaccinated, and attitudes about vaccine options and their safety.

Older Nigerians Lead the Way

Nearly half (49%) of our respondents said they were already eligible to receive a vaccine, 25% were not yet eligible, and 26% did not know if they were eligible. Nigerians over the age of 65 however, felt most confident about their eligibility status, with two-thirds of respondents aged 65-74 stating they were eligible for the vaccine.

Even though nearly half of the respondents said they qualified to get the vaccine, only 17% had been vaccinated at the time of our survey. Older Nigerians again led the way, with 1 in 3 respondents aged 65-74 saying they had already been vaccinated.

Signs of Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine eligibility may only account for part of the reason so few eligible Nigerians have been vaccinated. When asked how comfortable they were with the speed at which vaccines were being approved, more than one in four respondents said they were either not at all comfortable or not so comfortable. Only 40% of men and 32% of women said they were either "somewhat" or "extremely" comfortable with how quickly vaccines were approved.

Vaccine hesitancy might also factor in the amount of time Nigerians planned to wait before being vaccinated. When asked how long they would wait to get vaccinated after once the vaccine became available, just over 11% of respondents said they would take it as soon as it was available, and only 2% said they would be willing to take it in less than a month. In contrast, many respondents said they intended to wait longer or would never take the vaccine at all.

  • 6% responded they would wait 1 to 6 months;

  • 19% said they would wait between six months and 2 years;

  • 11.2% responded they would wait two or more years;

  • 17% said they would never take the vaccine.

Nigerians' Stance on Vaccine Options

At the time of our survey, four vaccines had been approved in the fight against Covid-19, and two — AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson — had been made available in Nigeria. While each has garnered considerable media attention worldwide, what were Nigerians’ attitudes toward these options?

We tried to capture Nigerians' degree of awareness and opinions on the four vaccines with regards to their safety and trustworthiness. Pfizer edged out AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna on the issue of awareness. When asked about which vaccines they were aware of, Pfizer ranked highest with 48.3% respondents saying they had heard of it, followed by AstraZeneca( 39.5%), Johnson & Johnson (30.4%), Moderna (16%). Nevertheless, over 29% of respondents said they were not aware of any of the current vaccines. Low levels of familiarity with Covid-19 vaccine options may account for the ambivalence we noted among respondents on questions about the safety and trustworthiness of these brands.

Regardless of brand, a large proportion of respondents were undecided about whether the vaccine is safe or trustworthy; moreover, 27.2% of respondents did not know which vaccine brand they trusted the least. Nevertheless, the Moderna vaccine fared worse than its competirors, with more than half of respondents stating they did not know whether it was safe or trustworthy, and 13.8% saying their trusted it the least. In comparison, when asked about the Pfizer vaccine, nearly 47% of respondents described it as somewhat or very safe.

In Summary

Our results suggest many Nigerians are simply not familiar with the current Covid-19 vaccine options, and this, in turn, partly accounts for what seems to be an early reticence toward vaccination. As vaccine rollout progresses, and more Nigerians see their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles get vaccinated, we expect this hesitancy to recede. With greater exposure comes greater awareness, with gives way to acceptance and trust. We looks forward to tracking tracking changes in these attitudes in the months to come.

For more consumer insights on attitudes towards the Covid-19 vaccine, please drop us a note. What other topics are you curious about? Share your thoughts with us at

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