Nigeria To Vaccinate 109 Million In 2 Years

Joseph Bakare

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has said that government projects to vaccinate about 109 million Nigerians that will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination in the 2 years.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, made the disclosure at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing, on Monday, February 15, in Abuja.

“We remain in anticipation of about 57million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility and also the AU. Working with the States, the Federal Government plans to vaccinate all eligible population from 18 years and above, including pregnant women.

“However, the decision to vaccinate any pregnant woman will be made in consultation with her healthcare provider. There will be considerations of whether she is at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or not.

”She is likely to be at high risk for example if she is a frontline health worker, a support staff or a first responder in the different spheres of the security architecture of our country.

“This guidance is based on the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE). After excluding those that are under 18 years old, we plan to vaccinate approximately 109m Nigerians that will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination over the course of 2 years,” he said.

Shuaib said that additionally, the Federal Government had received the commitment of 1,500,000 and 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca; from MTN as well as the Government of India respectively.

“These eligible populations have been identified using the World Health Organization  (WHO), vaccine allocation framework and prioritization roadmap, as well as the disease burden data from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

“They are the frontline healthcare workers, support staff; including those that work in high-risk areas such as point of entry workers; rapid response teams; contact tracing teams; COVID-19 vaccination teams; as well as strategic leadership.

“People aged 50 years and above and People aged 18 – 49 years, with significant co-morbidities and additional at-risk groups,” he noted.

The NPHCDA boss added that In order to facilitate the implementation process, the Technical Working Group (TWG), had come up with a strategy of pre-registration as well as scheduling of the target population to avoid over-crowding at vaccination posts.

“We have come up with a strategy called the TEACH approach, which will harness all the benefits of traditional; electronic; assisted; and also concomitant house-to-house registration to optimize the use of innovative technology.

“The TEACH approach entailed:

• T: Traditional method of vaccinating target populations using desk review of available data sources, identifying the vaccination sites, and rolling out

• E: Electronic self-registration for health workers and the public; a link that provides an online form will be provided

• A: Assisted electronic registration

• C: Concomitant e-registration; during a walk in to fixed sites/health facilities

• H: House-to-House registration using volunteers for additional push to rapidly increase the e-registration

“A URL link will be deployed for the electronic registration tool; which will be rolled out this week for healthcare workers; to register and appropriately schedule them for the COVID-19 vaccination,” he stated.

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