Report of Monthly Dialogue on Public Education on COVID19 Vaccine Project


On Tuesday 1st March, 2022 the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) organized a virtual dialogue to deliberate issues around slow uptake of the COVID19 vaccine. The dialogue which took place via the Zoom platform hosted two public health experts-Dr. Hassan Shuaibu Musa, Principal Medical Officer and Lecturer at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and Dr. Ma’awuya Aliu as speakers, Hon. Jafar Mohammed Zuru, Commissioner, Kebbi State Ministry of Health gave a keynote address while Dr. Mainasara Yakubu Kurfi, the Head, Department of Mass Communications, Bayero University Kano served as moderator. 

The one hour thirty minutes virtual event titled “Discussing COVID19 Vaccine Uptake Series 2.0” began with goodwill message from Hon. Jafar  Muhammed Zuru, Commissioner of Health Kebbi State who was represented by Haruna Abdullahi, Director Immunization and Disease Control in the Ministry, in the message he commended CITAD for organizing the dialogue adding that it is a timely effort as it brought qualified stakeholders to deliberate on the vaccination issue, he urged participants from various states to listen to the speakers with interest and make use of the strategies they will share during the dialogue. 

Hindrances and factors responsible for slow uptake of the vaccine, hesitancy or non acceptance of the vaccine shared by the speakers during the dialogue included the following:

  1. Fear of side of adverse effect of the vaccine
  2. Healthcare workers vaccine hesitancy 
  3. Lack of national policy on vaccine administration
  4. Lack of targeted communication strategy 
  5. Lack of risk communication assessment mechanism and response strategy 
  6. Unavailability of vaccines in some locations 
  7. Lack of sufficient credible information on vaccine efficacy 
  8. Societal perception on the virus and vaccine
  9. Circulation of false narratives on the vaccine on social media 
  10. Cultural and traditional beliefs on the vaccine
  11. Poor vaccine administration and delivery 
  12. Poor public knowledge COVID19 asymptomatic patients  

 It noted was during the dialogue that hesitancy of the vaccine by healthcare workers is heavily and negatively impacting the vaccination exercise, it was also learned that for example in Bauchi state only 11% of the state’s healthcare workers took the vaccine, the concern therefore was how would the public have trust and confidence in the vaccine if healthcare workers are also reluctant to take it? Another issue raised during the dialogue was that many people COVID19 patients are asymptomatic and the public justify their misconception on the virus, for example again in Bauchi state 78% of COVID19 patients were asymptomatic. After intense deliberation on the above areas, questions and comments by the dialogue participants, the speakers recommended the following:

  1. Taking the vaccine should be made mandatory for all healthcare workers in order to boost confidence of the public on the vaccine. 
  2. States should develop information dissemination and communication strategy to constantly engage the public on the vaccine. By extension it was recommended that live phone-in radio programmes should consistently be aired to provide detailed and sufficient information to listeners in local languages, respond to questions they have as well as use the programme to restrategize the information and communication chain. 
  3. There is the need to have a national and state policy on vaccination, the policy should take into cognizance the contexts and peculiarities of different communities. 
  4. Vaccination authorities should leverage mass gatherings-social, religious, traditional, etc with COVID19 vaccine.
  5. There is the need to amplify positive testimonies on the vaccine particularly testimonies of people the public will believe and trust. 
  6. There is the need to have a functional risk communication strategy
  7. States should embark on mass campaign on the mainstream media, social media and local or traditional gatherings.   
  8. Information and communication approach should target behavioural change

Communiqué Issued at the end of a Two Days Training Workshop for COVID-19 Vaccine Champions in Kano state

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from
MacArthur Foundation organized a two-day training workshop for eighteen COVID-19 Vaccine
Champions selected from Plateau, Bauchi, Borno, Kogi, Kaduna and Kano states. The training
was held on 13 th and 14 th of December, 2021 in Kano state. The training was organized to prepare
the participants to enlighten the public on COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and counter fake
narratives and misconceptions around the virus and its vaccine. Some of the areas the
participants were trained on included the following: Understanding COVID-19 Pandemic:
National and Global Perspectives, Understanding Fake Narratives around COVID-19,
Understanding Social Media-Based Campaign: Deploying the Right Tools, Understanding the
Functions and Variations of the Vaccines, Crafting the Message, Understanding Vaccine Safety
and Efficacy, Monitoring and Countering Misinformation, Disinformation and Fake News
around Vaccines, How Best to Counter Misconceptions around COVID: Leveraging the Medical
Justifications, etc.
During the workshop, numerous hindrances to COVID-19 vaccine administration in northern
Nigeria were generated and deliberated upon. Prominent among the hindrances and challenges
highlighted as stated as follows:
1. Low of awareness on the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and safety
2. Lack of information on COVID-19 vaccine accessibility
3. Misconception on fear of adverse effects related to the vaccine
4. Circulation of fake narratives around COVID-19 and the vaccine
5. Lack of trust between the Government and the citizenry
6. Limited information on the different types of vaccine and their functions
7. People’s negative perception on the COVID-19 vaccine
In order to address the challenges and hindrances to COVID-19 administration in northern
Nigeria and ensure uptake of the virus, the umbrella of the COVID-19 Vaccine Champions
recommends the following:
1. Mass public enlightenment on the vaccine
2. Provision of sufficient information on vaccine administration spots
3. Use of local language in enlightening the public on the vaccine
4. Door to door campaigns to sensitize individuals at grassroot levels

5. Public awareness campaign through all forms of media
6. Educating the public on fake narratives about the vaccine
7. Countering social media-based misconceptions on COIVD and the vaccine
8. Engaging stakeholders on sensitization at various levels using different approaches
COVID-19 vaccine is real. Doubts and fake news being circulated on the vaccine can only
increase infections and worsen situation. We therefore want to end by kindly advising people
who are yet to take vaccine to go and get vaccinated as getting vaccinated is a step towards
staying safe.
Hamza Ibrahim-Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
Hauwa Kabir Lawal-Plateau State
Jamila Musa-Kano State
Abdullahi Barau Azare-Bauchi
Bishop Joseph Aturu-Kogi State
Abdulkadir Ashafa-Kaduna State
Kwaplki Peter Uba Borno State

Text of Press Conference on the Need for People to Take COVID Vaccine Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) 8 th December, 2021

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the press, we want to thank you most sincerely for
coming to cover this briefing. At the Centre for Information Technology and Development
(CITAD) we implement the Public Education on COVID Vaccine project. The project which is
supported by MacArthur Foundation is aimed to educating and enlightening the public on the
role and relevance of COVID vaccine. We work with 18 partners across six northern states,
namely: Bauchi, Borno, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi and Plateau. We are therefore going to address you
on issues relating to vaccination.

COVID outbreak is no doubt one of the pandemics the world has witnessed recently. Deaths
have been recorded in towns and villages, movements have been restricted, lockdowns imposed,
gatherings banned, etc people have really felt the consequences of the pandemic greatly, these
measures were laudably taken to address the pandemic.
Therefore standing against COVID should not be the role of governments at different levels,
civil society or private sector-led initiatives, rather the larger members of the society have a
crucial role to play. Efforts no matter how carefully tailored cannot alone succeed in addressing

the virus if members of the society do not support and cooperate with the initiatives, taking the
vaccine is surely one way to prevent ourselves from the virus.
COVID Vaccine Administration Situation from States
The data we at CITAD gathered from researches and engagements conducted by our 18 partners
across six states of the north has given us a broader perspective on the hindrances and challenges
of the COVID vaccination in those states. The hindrances and challenges differ from state to
state as can be seen below.
For example in Borno state there are 87 vaccination spots across the 27 local governments of the
state. But the main challenge of getting as people as possible vaccinated are as follows:
1. Lack of COVID certificate seal or barcode in 70% of the vaccination spots
2. Nonpayment of COVID vaccine administrators
3. Misconception on vaccine amongst government officials
4. Lack of sufficient information on where and how to be vaccinated
The above problems are creating serious hindrances to COVID vaccine administration in the
state. As established by our partners, more than 70% of the vaccination centres had ran out of
seal to place on the vaccine certificates of the vaccinated people. We therefore appeal to Borno
state government to immediately access the seals for smooth vaccination exercise to take place in
the state. Another critical challenge is in the area of nonpayment of the health workers involved
in the vaccine administration. Lack of that motivation has further made some of the staff to be
completely absent at the vaccination spots or close before time. This situation has made people
who want to be vaccinated not to access the vaccine. There are also misconceptions and
conspiracy theories around the vaccine that some government officials in the state have which
has also been a serious problem to getting people vaccinated, this has not only demoralized many
people, but it has also reinforced their disbelief and rejection of the vaccine.
In Plateau state, while there is information on where and how people can get vaccinated, the
major hindrances are however stated as follows:
1. Fear of Future of Consequences of the Vaccine
2. Conspiracy Theories of Opinion Leaders

While there is information on vaccination spots in the state, the major challenge as found by our
partners in the state is the fear that many people have on the vaccine, believing that it has future
consequences on the people that accept the vaccine. Rumour circulating on the vaccine remains a
critical hindrance. To complement the earlier negative narrative, some opinion leaders in the
state hold strong negative views about the virus and its vaccination, that is a major problem to
getting more people accept the vaccine despite considerable information flow on accessing the
vaccine. We urge the state government to look into that and address those problems.

In Kogi state more people are accepting the vaccine and that is largely due to role of elites,
federal and state civil servants in accepting the vaccine. That has be an encouraging factor to
many people accepting the vaccine. For example 75 people were vaccinated in two days in
Adankolo Primary Health Centre Lokoja. However, that is not to say there are no challenges
regarding vaccination exercise in the state as people speculate that taking the vaccine makes one
In Kano state, findings indicate that teachers in Tsangaya schools reject the vaccine because
according to them their numerous problems have been left unattended to and unaddressed as
well. Some of them feel the vaccine is not as important as other critical problems they have. This
is a major hindrance to vaccinating not only the teachers but the hundreds of thousands of their
students. It is therefore recommended that authorities work closely with them to proffer solutions
to issues around them and get them vaccinated as they form a considerable number in the
population of Kano state.
Our Concerns
It is unfortunate that despite the difficult moment COVID has pushed people into, vaccination
against the virus in the country is still very low. Premium Times Newspaper reported on 4 th
December, 2021 that only 3% of Nigerians are vaccinated, this is disturbing at a time when
Omicron variant is surfacing.
What is happening in countries such as South Africa, United Kingdom, Czech, U.S.A,
Netherlands, Columbia, etc should serve as a lesson to Nigeria and Nigerians that COVID is not
gone yet. And with Omicron variant making waves we must urge that efforts to curb the spread
of the virus be taken more seriously.
1. As a matter of urgency we appeal to all unvaccinated Nigerians to quickly go and take the
2. We urge stakeholders and opinion leaders in Plateau state to work together to address
misconception theories on COVID and its vaccination as well as enlighten the public on
the relevance of the vaccine.
3. We urge authorities in Borno state to ensure the provision of sufficient seals to the
vaccination spots and motivate vaccination staff by paying their allowances
4. We urge people to disregard fake narratives around the vaccine as the narratives were not
scientifically proven. Reputable health agencies have confirmed the efficiency of the
vaccine as such people should disregard the rumours
5. Health authorities in various states should prioritize information sharing on how and
where people can get the vaccine.

6. To this end we would like to strongly appeal to traditional and religious leaders, the
media, community associations and opinion leaders in the society to join us in the
campaign to enlighten people on the relevance of the vaccine and taking it.
7. We want traditional leaders to use their chain of leadership to emphasize the role of the
vaccine and taking it, we equally want religious leaders to sensitize their members and
followers in various fora on taking the vaccine.
8. We want to urge all and sundry in the society to corporate with authorities in their quest
to curbing the spread of the virus by adhering to all measures being put in place.
9. COVID is not over yet, therefore measures such as putting on face masks and avoiding
crowd or maintaining social distancing where necessary should still be observed.
10. If you are not vaccinated, quickly and get vaccinated!
Hamza Ibrahim,
Project Manager,
Public Education Vaccine Project.
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).

Text of a Press Conference on the State of COVID-19 Vaccine Exercise in Bauchi, Borno, Plateau, Kogi, Kaduna and Kano states

Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) Bauchi Office

Thursday 3 rd February, 2022

Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the press, on behalf of the Centre for Information
Technology and Development (CITAD) I would like to thank you honoring our invitation and
coming to cover this press conference. We are indeed grateful to you for your continued support
on our work. The essence of this press conference is to share with you some of the key
hindrances to COVID-19 vaccination exercise we have identified in six states of our project
The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from
MacArthur Foundation is implementing a “Public Education on COVID-19 Vaccine” in six
states of the north. The states are Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kogi, Kano and Plateau. The project
is aimed at creating awareness around COVID-19 vaccine with a view to getting acceptance and
uptake of the vaccine by people. In all the six states CITAD works with partners from different
backgrounds and professions to enlighten people on the need to take the vaccine.
Hindrances to Vaccine Administration in the Project States
Having monitored COVID-19 vaccine administration in the six project states for the last two
months, we are displeased to note that we have identified both general and specific issues that
are hindering uptake of the vaccine thereby further risking the efforts at addressing the
pandemic. This we must say is unfortunate particularly at a time when new variants of the virus
are emerging. While we noticed that misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine is still prevalent,
we also regret to note here that state governments are in some way aiding non acceptance of the
vaccine by not fully supporting the vaccination exercise where people who want to be vaccinated
are required by the vaccination officials to make payments for their details to be captured and
uploaded online on the national register, this we particularly found happening in Kogi state.
The issue of requesting people to make payments to be vaccinated will not only hamper the
vaccination exercise but will make people to stay away from taking the vaccine, and this
potentially renders more people insecure.
Our observation also discovered a serious lack of coordination in the vaccine distribution by
agencies responsible within the healthcare chain. While in Borno state people going for second
doses for Astrazeneca and Moderna were told the vaccines are not available, in Plateau state
45,288 doses of Pfizer had to be recalled after distribution to local communities for nearing
expiration. Again visits to some vaccination spots in Plateau indicate unavailability of the

vaccines. The lack of proper coordination is causing delay in accessing the vaccine by the
vaccination spots, for example in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, State Primary Health
Development Agency supplies the vaccination centres with the vaccines without the involvement
of the local government concerned, on exhaustion of the vaccines the centres usually are forced
into confusion as local government usually makes a case that they are supplied the vaccines by
the SPHCDA therefore they should not request from it. This effect of improper coordination put
people on hold unnecessarily.
The problems we have identified are no doubt hindrances to the COVID-19 vaccine uptake. The
identified challenges if not addressed quickly will reinforce the misconception and fake news in
circulation about the vaccine, and that will sabotage the efforts geared towards containing the
virus and addressing the pandemic in general.
1. Vaccine administrators demand data payment from people who want to get vaccinated to
upload their details on the online national register
2. Lack of will from top government officials-that further reinforces negative impression
people have on the vaccine
3. Lack of proper coordination in vaccine administration and distribution
4. Absence of vaccination spots at gathering places such as Mosques, churches, banks
5. Vaccination spots mounted at distant locations
6. Lack of support of opinion leaders
7. Fear of expired vaccines in use
8. Inaccessibility of the vaccines in rural communities
9. Nonpayment of vaccine administrators’ allowances
10. Closure of some vaccination spots due to nonpayment of vaccine administrators
11. Lack cold storage facilities in remote communities
12. Lack of political will
13. Unavailability of vaccines at some vaccination spots
14. Circulation false narratives around the vaccine

Having identified series of avoidable challenges and problems, we would like to strongly
recommend that the following actions be taken to salvage the vaccination exercise:
1. We appeal to Kogi state governor to immediately put a stop to “pay to get vaccinated” by
providing data and other form of supports vaccine administrators in the state
2. Call on the state governors concerned to as a matter of urgency work to address the
problems we have identified
3. They should as examine the vaccination channel in their separate states to have a broader
view of the identified problems and other and deploy the needed mechanisms

4. We urge the public to disregard misconceptions and false narratives around COVID-19
and to get vaccinated
5. We appeal to State Primary Healthcare Development Agencies in the six states to review
their operation manual to ensure proper coordination for effective vaccination exercise
Hamza Ibrahim,
Public Education on COVID-19 Vaccine Project,
Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)