Music and jingles fill the air in a camp for displaced people in the capital, Abuja. The songs are addressing one problem — misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine.
Helen Nwoko and her team at Aish Initiative said they're on a mission in the camp to address many who have been misled by a viral social media video that portrayed vaccines as a microchip with magnetic qualities.
She said various myths and misinformation about the coronavirus vaccines are negatively affecting uptake.
"From the records we get on the people who have been vaccinated in Nigeria, the percent is too low, compared to what we're supposed to get," Nwoko said. "Then we said, 'Let's start from [these] vulnerable groups. These are people who are in an enclosed place.'"
Nwoko is the executive director of the nonprofit, an NGO promoting and encouraging vaccine uptake and humanitarian education in Nigeria.
The Abuja camp vaccine sensitization program is a joint effort between the nonprofit, Nigeria's Ministry of Health, and the National Orientation Agency, and it is reaching vulnerable groups in rural areas, where authorities said it is most needed.
Agnes Bartholomew was at the Abuja camp’s sensitization program and now said she is ready to take the jab.
"If they bring it [vaccine], I'll take it," Bartholomew said. "But they said they've not brought it. That's what we're waiting for."
Fewer than 1% of Nigerians have received complete jabs against the coronavirus, though authorities were aiming for 40% this year.
Officials at the Nigerian CDC said even though the country has not yet acquired sufficient vaccines, vaccine hesitancy is a serious issue.
Abiodun Egwuenu is a program coordinator at an infodemic unit created at Nigeria's CDC to dispel disease misinformation.
"We've been noticing that there are challenges around immunity," Egwuenu said. "There are rumors around the fact that natural immunity is better than the vaccination immunity. And then there also [are] challenges around what the vaccine does when it gets to the body.”
Nigeria is seeing a new surge in coronavirus cases and fatalities caused by the deadly Delta variant.
The official number of cases stands at 193,000 — low compared to many other countries — but the number is rising fast.
Authorities say vaccination is the only way to ensure safety, and that the country needs to vaccinate 70% of its 200 million people to achieve herd immunity.