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Lagos develops mass COVID-19 vaccination strategy to reduce spread, prevent re-emergence

By Chukwuma Muanya
08 November 2021   |   4:16 am
Lagos State Government has developed a robust vaccination strategy leveraging on both the strengths of the public and private sectors of the healthcare system to mitigate the impact....

[FILES] Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi PHOTO: Twitter

Clarifies N6,000 administrative fee at private vaccination centres

Lagos State Government has developed a robust vaccination strategy leveraging on both the strengths of the public and private sectors of the healthcare system to mitigate the impact of a fourth wave in Lagos. The strategy is also aimed at reducing the impact of the spread of COVID-19 virus and prevent the re-emergence.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, alongside the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi and the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, inaugurated the strategy at a side event of the seventh African conference on one health and biosecurity, which ended at the weekend in Lagos. The governor said the strategy aimed at targeting full vaccination of four million Lagos residents before the end of December 2021.

According to him, once it is achieved, it would bring the state closer to the mandate to vaccinate 30 per cent of its population within one year, which started in August of 2021.

Abayomi, in a statement, yesterday, said the state government, through the Primary Health Care Board, does not have the capacity alone to ramp up vaccination to this massive level in such a short time, hence the need to include the private sector.

He said with the approach, they intend to ramp up vaccination strategy using the existing public facilities some private facilities.

According to him, it is imperative to emphasise that the vaccines administered in public facilities is free and would remain free to the public as they were donated to Lagos State by the Federal Government and donor partners.

He said those wishing to receive the vaccines could go to designated government facilities for free of charge. Abayomi said: “Those that wish to receive the vaccines within the comfort of a private facility can do so at a minimal administrative cost of N6,000 for two doses, which covers 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.”

He said those that require their vaccination at any of Lagos State’s public facilities should please visit the national platform at https://publicreg.vaccination.gov.ng 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,” he said.

He added: “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 training of public personnel so that the customer experience in public facilities would be matched equally with that of the private sector.”

The commissioner said the decision to leverage on the private sector is based solely on the resolve to include private health facilities and corporate institutions as additional sites for the COVID-19 vaccination administration. He said this was in furtherance of efforts to increase the reach and access to the available vaccines provided through the generous contributions and donations by the Federal Government and donors.

“By doing this, we are once again recognising 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,” Abayomi said.

Abayomi said the list of public facilities is already in the public domain but republished here again and the list of private facilities in phase one of this process will be published in the next few days.

The commissioner emphasised that the COVID vaccines donated to Lagos by the Federal Government is free and its administration comes at no cost to citizens who visit any of the designated public vaccination sites located across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas of the State. He said that public vaccination sites have the capacity to effectively administer the COVID vaccines on any person who visit irrespective of class, social or religion inclination or tribe.

“We are confident of our COVID management and vaccination strategies, and our plans are open to public scrutiny and critique; however, we will not be arm-twisted by interests intended to erode the successes and gains we have made as a government. We will continue to perform our responsibilities as the public protector during this response and we pledge that there will be no exploitation, as we seek to secure a win-win situation in our partnership and collaboration with the private sector to achieve a COVID free Lagos,” Abayomi said.