COVID-19 – FG Set To Establish Mass Vaccination Sites Across The Country

COVID-19 – FG Set To Establish Mass Vaccination Sites Across The Country

The Federal Government has said plans have been put in place for the establishment of mass vaccination sites across the country.

This came as Nigeria was ranked as the worst performing country in West Africa in the global effort to defeat inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the Federal Government has been charged to invest massively in public education, health, and social protection, to tackle poverty, joblessness, and other inequalities.

The Federal Government explained that the development was in line with the commitment to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during a press conference he held to update Nigerians on the country’s current COVID-19 vaccination status, on Thursday.

He said, “The objective of this strategy is to vaccinate a high volume of individuals through large sites such as Federal institutions (universities, polytechnics), shopping malls, religious centres, sporting events, conference centres, and markets, etc.

“This will require strong collaboration between NPHCDA, State Governments, religious bodies, school authorities, and governing bodies of malls and large sporting events. As we expand the vaccination sites, we encourage all eligible Nigerians to avail themselves for vaccination.

“I am also glad to inform you that we have commenced the process of decentralizing COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria, to include private health care providers. This is to expand access and increase the utilization of the vaccines.

“The decentralization will not affect the Federal Government’s free vaccination policy. COVID-19 vaccines will be administered free of charge at both government and private health facilities and the vaccination cards should be given free of charge after vaccination. We acknowledge the fact that private health facilities may need to charge for their hospital registration cards which are different from the COVID-19 vaccination cards”.

He further said, “To ensure a seamless decentralization, we have begun the training of health workers in the selected private health care facilities and the sensitization of critical stakeholders to create awareness and sensitize them on the plan and the criteria for involving the private sector in COVID-19 vaccination and secure their buy-in. The process of involving the private sector will be transparently done in line with our pledge of accountability to Nigerians.

”Let me quickly assure you that NPHCDA is putting measures in place to ensure close and effective monitoring and supervision of any participating private health facilities to ensure standards are not compromised. Interested private health facilities will be required to meet certain criteria including having the requisite qualified health care workers, among others.

“To ensure that the vaccines are delivered by private health facilities as expected, we will be engaging in regular supervisory visits to the facilities and will be providing clear rules of engagement to the participating facilities. We solicit your support as the watchdogs of society, to ensure that this decentralization does not compromise the current high quality of our COVID-19 vaccination programme. Any erring facilities will be sanctioned, including blacklisting.

“We would also like to bring to your attention a study done by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in six States of the Federation (Anambra, Borno, Edo, Katsina, Lagos, and Plateau). The overall aim of the observational study was to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in enrolled adult individuals 18 years and above who have received the authorized COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria for the purpose of safety signal detection. This study was led by Prof Akin Osibogun, a Professor of Community Medicine at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

The study sought to estimate the incidence of adverse events following immunization with different brands of the COVID-19 vaccine in all enrolled immunized subjects.

“Findings of this study showed that 52.6% of enrolees (1,284 were enrolled) reported non-serious adverse effects and only 1 subject or 0.08% reported serious adverse effects in the first week following vaccination. None of the enrolled subjects who reported adverse effects required hospitalization.

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