Lagos outlines mass coronavirus vaccination strategy, plans

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed this on Thursday while giving update on Coronavirus in the country.

The Lagos State Government has developed a robust vaccination strategy leveraging on both the strengths of the public and private sectors of the healthcare system in the state.

The Honorable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in a statement, disclosed this on Sunday.

According to him, the strategy is with a full understanding that a substantial proportion of the population will need to be vaccinated to mitigate the impact of the fourth wave in Lagos and reduce the impact of the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus and prevent the re-emergence of the catastrophes witnessed during the previous waves.

“This strategy dubbed ‘Count Me In! 4 million Lagosians vaccinated against COVID-19,’ is aimed at targeting the full vaccination of four million Lagos residents before the end of December 2021.”

Abayomi said the strategy, which as launched alongside the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, would focused on vaccine strategies.

“Once achieved, this will bring the state closer to the Mr. Governors mandate to vaccinate 30 per cent of the Lagos population within one year which started in August of 2021. This is a concerted effort to achieve the World Health Organization’s (WHO) target of vaccinating 40 per cent of the world before the end of this year. Lagos thus far has only been able to fully vaccinate just under 3 per cent of its population.

“The state government, through the primary healthcare board, does not have the capacity alone to ramp up vaccination to this massive level in such a short time and before the deadline, hence the need to include the private sector.

“The public-private partnership is similar to the strategy we deployed for escalating our COVID-19 testing which resulted in a dramatic increase in testing done in Lagos from an average of 200 a day to over 2,000 a day culminating in a total of 800,000 tests in less than a year and Lagos State accounting for more than 30 per cent alone of all COVID-19 PCR tests done in Nigeria.

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“This demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships, with the inclusion of the significant capacity of the private sector but government retaining strict regulatory oversight and quality function. With this approach, we intend to ramp up our vaccination strategy using the existing public facilities as well as the inclusion of some private facilities.”

He said, “it is imperative to emphasise that the vaccines administered in public facilities is free and would remain free to the public as they were contributed to us by the federal government and our donor partners, those wishing to receive the vaccines can go to any of the designated 206 government facilities and receive their dose totally free of charge.

“However, those that wish to receive the vaccines within the comforts of a private facility can do so at a minimal administrative cost of N6,000 for two doses which cover the cost that the private sector will incur to facilitate the administration of the vaccine which includes logistics, personnel, quality oversight, administrative and overhead costs. The cost will be proportionally lower for single-dose or those wishing to take a single booster dose.

“I wish to note that no one is compelled to receive their vaccines at any private facility as the vaccines in both are of the same quality and brand. We have also invested in the training of our public personnel so that the customer experience in our public facilities would be matched equally with that of the private sector.”

“The decision to leverage on the private sector is based solely on our resolve to include private health facilities and corporate institutions as additional sites for the COVID-19 vaccination administration. This is in furtherance of the effort to increase the reach and access to the available vaccines provided through the generous contributions and donations by the federal government and our donors. “By doing this, we are once again recognizing the impact of the collaboration between the public and private sector for healthcare and strengthening the link for far-reaching initiatives in the State. We also understand that there are citizens, who for personal reasons, would prefer to receive the vaccine at the comfort of a private facility. It is important that such citizens should not be deprived access to the vaccine especially as this negates the principle of vaccine equity. Therefore, the involvement of the private sector is important.

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“Those that require their vaccination at any of our public facilities should please visit the national platform at https://publicreg.vaccination to register and schedule their vaccination or register on arrival at any of the 206 public sites. “However, those requiring vaccination at any of our selected private facilities should please, in addition, visit https://lagosvaccine .com to book and pay for their vaccination, either before or after registering on the national platform. Both the public and private facilities would also be available to assist Lagos residents to make these bookings, however, we strongly suggest that residents make these bookings before proceeding to their facility of choice to avoid overcrowding and delays.

“The list of public facilities is already in the public domain but republished here again. The list of private facilities in phase one of this process will be published in the next few days,” he stated.

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