Report: More Somali Women are Ready to Take COVID-19 Vaccine than Men

PHOTO CREDIT: WHO

In Somalia​,​ more women are willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine than men​, ​Africa’s Voices Foundation said Wednesday.

The Nairobi-based foundation report shows that 287 out of 410 women surveyed said they were willing to be vaccinated and believed the jab helps prevent the coronavirus compared to 56 percent men believing in the same.

“We need to leverage the positive voices, particularly from Somali women, to promote COVID-19 vaccine acceptance,” said Samuel Kimeu, Executive Director, Africa’s Voices Foundation, an organization that strives to foster dialogue between citizens and governments in the continent.

In March and April 2021, Somalia received 500,000 vaccines, with the government prioritizing health workers, the elderly, and vulnerable members of the community. So far, the horn of African nation has vaccinated 235,000 people.

The low vaccine intake is blamed on insecurity, misconception about the vaccines and lack of proper communication approaches on the safety of vaccines and it’s availability in a highly oral society.

The researchers also found that 14 percent of the respondents resort to religious beliefs and 23 percent do not trust the COVID-19 vaccines.

Out of the 980 Somalis who participated in the study on May 13-15, 50 said they wanted to see more community awareness and sensitization campaigns about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and the eradication of myths and misconceptions about the vaccines.

Health agencies have stated that they will collaborate with religious leaders who play a crucial role in the Somali community to deploy vigorous, engaging content through accessible, trusted, and meaningful communication channels​ to increase the vaccine intake.

Somalia has recorded 14,995 cases of COVID-19 and 775 deaths.