COVID-19: More men taking vaccines than women in northern Nigeria

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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It has been observed that more men are taking the COVID-19 vaccine across Nigeria.

READ ALSO: No proof COVID-19 vaccines affect menstruation, fertility– WHO

According to medical experts who spoke to Voice of Nigeria at a COVID-19 vaccination centre at the Area two area of Abuja, the turnout has been impressive.

He said that despite the fact that a lot of people are coming forward to take the vaccine, most of the people coming forward are men.

The medical expert who pleaded anonymity said that out of ten recipients, seven are usually men while three are women.

He also said that most of the women who manage come to receive the vaccine are either government workers or frequent travelers who need the vaccination card to embark on trips.

At the NUJ Press Centre in Abuja, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche also confirmed that more men took the vaccine at the center.

He said that the percentage of men to women is very poor.

Mr Ogbeche noted that out of over 250 vaccines administered at the center, only  68 are women.

The chairman who personally supervises the vaccination exercise, said that most of the women who come for the vaccination are accompanied by their husbands.

Most single ladies are worried about fertility issues. The married women that came did so with their husbands. Or the appointments were booked by their husbands. Even the single ladies that took the vaccine did so with reservations. Some for professional reasons such as to be able to travel on official assignments”. Mr. Ogbeche said.

He also said that people have reported slight fever, hunger pangs, purple patch on their forearms after being vaccinated.

Most of these reactions we learnt panned out after 3 to 4 days. Personally, the first vaccination saw me being feverish for 3 days. On the second, I was always hungry

And it was not funny. However, like the first, it wore off after 3 days”. He added.

At the Wuse General Hospital, the log fluctuates.

The nurses at the center claim that more men show up regularly while on some days the numbers are close.

In Maiadua Local Government Area of Katsina state, the highest number of those vaccinated are men.

The head of one of the teams who did not want his name mentioned as he was not authorized to give out information, said that in his log, men were higher in number compared to women.

He said the ratio was as a result of the fact that the women were mostly housewives who hardly got out.

He also said that sensitization on the women was low.

In Kaduna state, the result is similar. More men show up for vaccination than women.

In Jigawa state, sixty seven percent of recipients are men while thirty three percent are women.

According to the Executive Director of the Jigawa state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim, more men make themselves available for vaccines.

A recent visit to the COVID-19 Vaccination Ward of the Mohammed  Abdullahi Wase Teaching Hospital, Nasarawa, Kano State, the Focal Person, Mr Shehu Abdul, said that more men take the vaccination.

He explained that the facility began COVID-19 vaccination in August. 20, and so far, only a few females have taken the vaccine compared to the men.

He attributed the development to lack of sufficient awareness and misinformation about the vaccines.

He urged media organisations to intensify awareness campaigns on the benefits of the vaccine against the deadly virus, with focus on women.

On the uptake of the vaccine, Abdul said that more people were responding and that the demand has been on the increase with an average of 50 people daily between Aug. 20 and Sept. 9 at the facility.

For example, when we began the vaccination exercise in August, only 15 people showed up: 12 male and three female. The number increased to 25 by Aug. 29; five females and 20 males and further increased significantly to 84 by Aug. 30; 18 females, 66 males.

However, the number has been declining with 82 recorded on Aug. 31: 16 females, 66 males; 67 on Sept.1: 15 female, 52 male, and 30 on Sept. 9: 12 females and 18 males,” Abdul said.

The visit to the facility was part of a two-day Media Dialogue on Demand Creation for COVID-19 vaccines in Kano, organised by the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, to enable the participants to see firsthand happenings at vaccination sites.

UNICEF Communication Specialist, Dr. Geoffrey Njoku, said that the objective of the media dialogue was for journalists to use their media platforms to promote uptake of the vaccines.

The effort is for journalists to use their platforms to advocate to the federal and state governments to provide logistics and operation support for the delivery of the vaccines. We also want journalists to use their platforms to allay fears by anarchists and conspiracy theorists about the safety of the vaccines,” he said.

The Nigerian government says it has so far vaccinated a total of 4,487,367 eligible persons with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, gave the figure at the weekly Press Briefing on Covid-19 Vaccination roll out in Nigeria.

He said that the figure is made of 2,863,422 persons who have taken the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,623,945 persons who have taken the first dose of Moderna vaccine.

So far, 1,783,676 eligible persons have been fully vaccinated, of which 1,781,840 is with the AstraZeneca vaccine, while 1,836 persons have had the Moderna vaccine“. Dr Shuaib said.

On the percentage of men to women in this total figure, the NPHCDA says it is yet to ascertain that.

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