Africa. Kovid-19: While waiting for a dose, anti-vaccine skepticism makes its bed

Update 02/04/2021 at 2:43 PM. Posted on 02/04/2021 at 1:01 AM. Le360 Afrique – by Afp

Based on rumors circulating on social networks, a similar dynamic observed in Western countries is at work in Africa, and reluctance is more robust when it comes to Kovid-19 than other vaccines, explain the experts interviewed by AFP.

“We are at a high level of skepticism,” said Ayode Alkija, who spearheaded the Convision’s strategy in Africa, an initiative for acceptance of Kovid’s vaccination.

Among the factors, she cites the unpopularity of governments and devolution. One theory that has found large audiences, for example, is that vaccines were designed to curb African population growth.

Governments themselves can spew doubt. Tanzanian President John Magufuli claimed in late January that the injections against Kovid were “hazardous to health”, despite a global health warning.


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Most African countries are still making arrangements to introduce vaccination. Many have yet to receive a single dose, with wealthy states grabbing shares.

However, these African countries are in the grip of a new wave of contamination. Much stronger than before, it remains distinctly without erasure in the United States or Europe. It also reduces the feeling of a health emergency.

A truck driver in the Nigerian capital Lagos, 28-year-old Moise Shitu, rejects the idea of ​​receiving the vaccine.

“It is a scam on behalf of our government,” he said, “They say that there is a coronovirus in Nigeria to make money”.

White disease?

The same prohibition in Kano, a city in northern Nigeria, from 41-year-old Zainab Abdullahi. “We hear people who have been vaccinated in Western countries and talk about serious side effects, but they still want to vaccinate us,” she said.

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The picture is not identical. At a cafe in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, the waiter interviewed said they were eager to vaccinate so that the virus would not be contracted.

A vaccination consultant for the Madadins Sans Frontières, Mamadoro Trere, assured us that resistance was increasing.

“People told themselves that it is not a disease that affects blacks,” he said, “It is up to governments to fight all misinformation.”

Some reliable studies are available on the approach to vaccine in Africa. Preliminary surveys suggest that many people are suspicious.

The African Centers for Disease Control published the results of the survey conducted in 18 countries and showed that only a quarter of them believed that vaccines against Kovid were not dangerous.


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However, the study did not identify a huge frontier of refractories: 79% said they would accept a vaccine if proven safe.

Richard Mihigo, Africa Vaccination Coordinator at the World Health Organization, states that historically, vaccines have a high degree of acceptance in Africa and see it as a good omen.

But he admits the rumors “spread like wildfire” are online and are a “real problem”.

Example from above

An interview in which two French scientists suggested in 2020 that companies should test their vaccines first in Africa sparked an outrage and helped rekindle long-held fears of the continent’s western exploitation.

The controversy caused “a lot of damage”, with Richard Mihigo regretting, “People said: + So, see you. One might well say now that African Guinea pigs are +”.

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In addition to access to the vaccine, infoxes represent one of the major challenges to be overcome for the upcoming campaign in Senegal, according to Oseniyo Badian, who heads the vaccination program in this country.

A lot of disintegration comes from France, he notes. The former colonial power is one of the countries most reluctant to vaccinate.

The painful memory of the slave trade, as well as a past when governments were heavily handed, illustrate the hesitance, says Sheikh Ibrahima Niang, professor of medical anthropology, Senegal.

He said that after the death of 11 Nigerian children in 1996, such as the scandal, such as treatment trials, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has made its mark against meningitis.

Governments should actively work to explain recalculation, he emphasized. Guinea’s president, Alpha Conde, preached the good word by putting the vaccine in front of the cameras.

But for the Confidence Initiative, Iode Alkaiza warned that it is more difficult to win support when the government’s confidence rating is low.

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