Only 14.6million are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Nigeria as of April 28, 2022, representing 7.1 per cent of the population, according to AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
While quoting Our World Data from the University of Oxford, the Director of Advocacy, Policy and Marketing, Africa Bureau, AHF, Ms Oluwakemi Gbadamosi, said the number was very insignificant when compared to what was obtainable in the developed world.
Gbadamosi disclosed this while speaking during a Vaccinate Our World (VOW) meeting to discuss how religious leaders could help to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and global vaccine inequity in Nigeria.
She said though 65.1 per cent of the world population had received at least a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only 15.2 per cent of people in low-income countries like Nigeria had received at least one dose.
“As of 25th April 2022, 11.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally but 78 per cent of those went to people in high-upper-middle-income countries.
“Only about 15 per cent of the adult population on the African continent have been fully vaccinated,” Gbadamosi said quoting WHO Africa’s data.
While lamenting the disparity in the distribution of vaccines and vaccine hesitancy in Nigeria, she said the faith communities have a big role to play in informing and influencing communities on matters of health.
She, therefore, called on religious leaders in Nigeria to preach against COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and add their voices to compel world leaders to act on the obvious inequalities in global COVID-19 distribution.
While speaking at the event, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Karu, Nasarawa State, Rev Bulus Joshua, called on Christians to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying it has nothing to do with the mark of the beast.
He rebuffed the claim that one would get the ‘mark of the beast’ after taking the vaccine, saying most of those making the claim are not conversant with the Bible.
Habiba Umar of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), also buttressed the need for religious leaders to lead the way in encouraging Nigerians to take the COVID-19 vaccine, adding that the Quran enjoined Muslims to obey their leaders.