By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Nigerians are hesitant in taking the COVID-19 vaccine because information about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine is not readily available to the people, Pharmacist Abdullahi Galadima has said.
Galadima, the National Vaccine Security and Logistic Consultant with World Health Organisation, said this while delivering a lecture to mark the World Pharmacist Day organised by Pharmacist Society of Nigeria, Kaduna chapter with the theme; “Pharmacist Always Trusted for Your Health”. He called on health workers and pharmacist to sensitise the public on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
Speaking on the topic “Building Public Trust in Vaccine Safety and Efficacy”, Pharm. Abdullahi Galadima said, “vaccine is the cheapest and most cost effective way of addressing disease. It boosts natural immunity for the body to fight disease. We should expect hesitancy to take Covid-19 vaccine because it is a novel vaccine that was rapidly developed and put into use within a short time.
“There would always be hesitancy in health issues but when individual health workers expected to protect the integrity of the vaccine don’t have the necessary information or have ambiguous information, then there would be issues.”
Speaking on the solution to the vaccine hesitancy to enable all Nigerians take the Covid-19 vaccine with free mind, Galadima said, “there should be access to information, educating people, engaging in advocacy and making it available to the people free. Government should build people’s capacity to ensure that they can access information about the vaccine and the vaccine itself.
“The vaccine is safe and good, the vaccine is effective. Every individual should be confident to take the vaccine. When blood is given to revive someone the person doesn’t know what the blood contain or who gave the blood, people should be open and free to take the vaccine.”
Delivering the second lecture titled, “the Role of Pharmacists in Nigeria’s Immunisation Supply Chain Management”, Pharm. Aminu Kuba said immunisation supply chain comprises of the vaccine and cold chain management. “Cold chain is the cooling effect that keeps the vaccine safe and efficacious. Vaccines are drugs but they are very expensive drugs.”
Chairman of Pharmacists Society of Nigeria (PSN), Pharm. Talatu Uwa Ebune said Covid-19 vaccine is very safe and effective. “It has been tested by NAFDAC and approved and that is why its put to public use. It is effective like polio and others, it doesn’t have any harmful effect. Government needs to educate and enlighten the public on efficacy and safety of the vaccine.”