COVID-19: Nearly two years after launch, Nigeria vaccinates only 25% of eligible population

Roughly 17 months after the launch of vaccination against the devastating coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian government has said only around 27 million eligible people have been fully vaccinated. The Executive Director of the National Agency for the Development of Primary Health Care (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, revealed this on Monday in Abuja at the launch of the SCALES 3.0 strategy. Shuaib said the country’s vaccination coverage has progressed from about 17 million to 40 million for the first dose as of August 8. He noted that the number of eligible people who are fully vaccinated is currently 27,703,573. “Therefore, the proportion of the total eligible population that has been vaccinated in Nigeria is 25 percent,” he said. far from target To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, Nigeria had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40% of its more than 200 million people by the end of 2021 and 70% by the end of 2022. This is based on the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO). Speaking ahead of the 2021 vaccine launch, Shuaib said about 40 percent will be vaccinated in 2021, while the remaining 30 percent will be covered in 2022. Vaccinating 70 percent of Nigeria’s estimated 200 million population means 140 million people would have received their full doses by the end of the year. But with only around 27 million people vaccinated so far, Nigeria may fall short of its stated target. Nigeria is not the only country lagging behind in the COVID-19 vaccination race. According to the WHO, only two African countries, Mauritius and Seychelles, have fully vaccinated 70 percent of their population by the end of June. SCALES strategy 3.0 Mr. Shuaib said that the country has seen an increase in vaccination rates in large part due to the enhanced SCALES 2.0 strategy launched in February this year, to increase integrated COVID-19 vaccination and primary health care services. health. However, he said a strategic review has shown there has been a low perception of risk from COVID-19 that needs to be overcome. He said analyzes of performance from various states also show that there are significant state-specific bottlenecks that need to be addressed in their various contexts if the country is to witness better vaccine uptake. “It is for these reasons, among others, that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health through the NPHCDA have devised SCALES 3.0,” he said. He explained that SCALES 3.0 is an evidence-based update that fixes the bugs in SCALES 2.0 and uses a human center demand generation design to address the low risk perception of COVID-19 in the country. Shuaib said the strategy retains the integration of COVID-19 vaccination with other PHC services, but uses an implementation approach that seeks to address bottlenecks in service delivery, communication, accountability and Logistics. To address service delivery issues, the CEO said SCALES 3.0 will operate in a focused campaign mode with mobile and special teams bringing vaccines to where people live and work. He said this will address the operational issues with static posts, temporary static posts, and mass vaccination sites that were seen in SCALES 2.0. ALSO READ: COVID-19 vaccination: States react as NPHCDA releases ‘performance ranking’ He said that SCALES 3.0 supports the timely logistics and payment of vaccination teams that have reached thresholds and targets. “What this simply means is that SCALES 3.0 will not only track vaccination activities, promptly detect and address inappropriate and fraudulent activities using our Joint Task Force, but also implement a performance-based incentive mechanism. carefully designed to encourage responsibility and superior performance. ,” he said. Address the gaps In his remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said that Nigeria has continued to experience changes in the factors influencing the demand for and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. Mustapha said these changing situations vary from state to state and therefore require ongoing review of strategies to promote demand and ensure vaccine access and accountability. He said the current record of fully vaccinated Nigerians leaves a lot to be desired. “The SCALES 3.0 strategy will address the implementation gaps identified in SCALES 2.0 and create greater accountability for performance, strengthen electronic data reporting, and promote strong demand generation at the community level,” he said. He noted that there is a significant decrease in deaths related to COVID-19 as a result of ongoing vaccination. “We must not lower our guard or give in to complacency, as the virus is still very much present and can mutate. We must encourage everyone around us to get vaccinated.” Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; COVID-19: Nearly two years after launch, Nigeria vaccinates only 25% of eligible population