COVID-19 doesn’t exist’ tops list of reasons among vaccine-hesitant Nigerians, Afrobarometer survey shows.

News release

About one-third of Nigerian adults say they are unlikely to try to get vaccinated against COVID-19, including many who say they don’t believe the virus exists or is a serious threat, a new Afrobarometer study shows.

Fewer than four in 10 citizens report having received a vaccination against the virus.

As the government tries to respond to the economic and social impact of the pandemic, three in 10 citizens say someone in their household lost a job, a business, or a primary source of income due to the pandemic, but far fewer report receiving government assistance to weather the fallout.

Most citizens also believe that resources intended for the response to the pandemic have been lost to government corruption.

Key findings

  • Close to three in 10 Nigerians (28%) say someone in their household lost a job, business, or primary source of income due to the pandemic (Figure 1).
  • Fewer than four in 10 Nigerians (37%) say they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. About one-third say they are “very unlikely” (22%) or “somewhat unlikely” (10%) to take the vaccine, while 30% say they probably will (Figure 2).
  • Citizens who say they are unlikely to get vaccinated cite a variety of reasons for their hesitancy, including that COVID-19 doesn’t exist (29%), that COVID-19 is not serious or life-threatening (18%), and that they do not trust the vaccine or are worried about fake vaccines (14%) (Figure 3).
  • About nine out of 10 Nigerians (89%) report that their household did not receive COVID-19 relief assistance from the government to mitigate the impact of the pandemic (Figure 4).
  • A large majority (83%) of Nigerians say they believe that “some” or “a lot” of the resources intended for the COVID-19 response have been lost to corruption. Only 2% think that none of these resources have been embezzled (Figure 5).

Afrobarometer surveys

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life. Eight survey rounds in up to 39 countries have been completed since 1999. Round 9 surveys (2021/2022) are currently underway. Afrobarometer’s national partners conduct face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice.

The Afrobarometer team in Nigeria led by NOIpolls, interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,600 adult citizens of this country in March 2022. A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2.5 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. Previous surveys were conducted in Nigeria in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2020.


Figure 1: Effects of COVID-19 | Nigeria | 2022

Respondents were asked: Please tell me whether you personally or any other member of your household have been affected in any of the following ways by the COVID-19 pandemic: Became ill with, or tested positive for, COVID-19? Temporarily or permanently lost a job, business, or primary source of income?

Figure 2: COVID-19 vaccination status | Nigeria | 2022

Respondents were asked:  Have you received a vaccination against COVID-19, either one or two doses? [If no:] If a vaccine for COVID-19 is available, how likely are you to try to get vaccinated?

Figure 3: Main reason for vaccine hesitancy | Nigeria | 2022

Respondents who say they are not likely to get vaccinated were asked: What is the main reason that you would be unlikely to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Figure 4: Access to COVID-19 relief assistance | Nigeria | 2022

Respondents were asked: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, have you or your household received any assistance from government, like food, cash payments, relief from bill payments, or other assistance that you were not normally receiving before the pandemic?

Figure 5: Perceived COVID-19 related corruption | Nigeria | 2022

Respondents were asked: Considering all of the funds and resources that were available to the government for combating and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, how much do you think was lost or stolen due to corruption?

For more information, please contact:


Raphael Mbaegbu

Telephone: +234 63292096


Visit us online at:

Follow our releases on #VoicesAfrica.