“Does a healthy man need vaccination?”: Attitudes of older adults toward COVID-19 vaccine in South-East Nigeria

  • Samuel O. Ebimgbo
  • Yemi Adewoyin Department of Geography, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Chukwuedozie K. Ajaero Department of Geography, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
  • Uzoma O. Okoye Department of Social Work, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
Keywords: COVID-19, Hesitancy, Older adults, Pandemic, Vaccine


The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be impeding the progress of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in achieving optimal health and well-being for individuals, particularly older adults. Numerous older adults have succumbed to the virus, exacerbating existing global health challenges. In response, scientists worldwide have developed a vaccine to alleviate the substantial disease burden. The Nigerian government has mandated the prioritized vaccination of older adults. This study aims to investigate the attitudes of older adults toward the COVID-19 vaccine. Data were collected from 32 older adults through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. Thematic analysis was employed to derive meaningful patterns from the collected data. The findings reveal a prevailing lack of awareness among older adults regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. They asserted that they perceived no need for vaccinations, asserting their current state of health. In addition, concerns were raised about potential adverse effects of the vaccine, including the onset of other illnesses. This study suggests that the Nigerian government, through its orientation agencies, undertakes comprehensive public education campaigns highlighting the importance of COVID-19 vaccine uptake.


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