Fed Govt begins vaccination with over 30 million J&J vaccines

Fed Govt begins vaccination with over 30 million J&J vaccines

As part of efforts to increase the COVID-19 vaccination coverage of eligible persons across the country, the Federal Government has launched the service delivery, communication, accountability, logistics, electronic reporting, and supportive supervision (S.C.A.L.E.S) strategy.

The SCALES 2.0 strategy, which will ensure that more Nigerians can easily locate a nearby health facility to get vaccinated by visiting the website (www.vacsitefinder.nphcda.gov.ng), will also integrate childhood immunisation alongside other primary health care services.

Also, eligible persons can now get vaccinated with a single shot of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines, as there are over 30 million vaccine doses available.

Nigeria has received over 64 million COVID-19 vaccines – AstraZeneca, Moderna, J&J and Pfizer. Furthermore, 48 million vaccines are expected before mid-year.

Latest vaccination data showed that as of February 21, 2022, a total of 17,199,853 eligible Nigerians have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, while 7,663,560 have received their second dose. In total, 24,863,413 vaccine doses have been administered.

The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, made this known in Abuja during the launch of the SCALES 2.0 strategy with the use of the single-dose J&J vaccine.

Dr Shuaib said: “We want to ensure that we not only decentralise COVID-19 vaccination but make sure that we improve coverage and access to COVID-19 vaccination. Today, we are vaccinating just a little over 200,000 people per day. For us to reach our target of reaching 70 per cent of eligible populations before the end of 2022, we have to hit 550,000 people per day. This will ensure that we reach herd immunity.

“We are also going to be launching the single-shot vaccine (Johnson & Johnson) for everyone. We understand that one of the reasons there is a gap between our first and second doses is because people experience adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination. Although the adverse events are very mild, we know that the opportunity to have a single shot not only in the hardest to reach areas, but everybody having access to one single shot will definitely increase our coverage of COVID-19 vaccination.

“The COVID-19 vaccination ‘site finder’ will improve the ability of Nigerians to assess COVID-19 vaccines. If you are able to sign on to this website, you will be shown the nearest COVID-19 vaccination centre.”

In her remarks, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Moeti Matshidiso, hailed the Federal Government’s vaccination strategy and efforts in ensuring that more Nigerians are covered.

She said: “I think we have learnt many lessons on how to leverage the capacities and lessons in delivering such campaigns in a country like Nigeria and internationally.

“I understand that there is going to be a great deal of emphasis on decentralisation – on really leveraging the decentralised nature of the Nigerian system and government to engage decision-makers at the state and local government level so that they can drive the very much action needed to speed up delivery of vaccines to the population.

“There will also be the need to expand the delivery capacity because, at the same time the country is carrying out this important work, there is other work of delivering vaccines, responding to public health emergencies going on.”

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, added: “Let me assure Nigerians that we have adequate stock of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, as we have over 30 million doses in stock. I call on all eligible persons that are yet to receive their vaccination to go to the nearest COVID-19 vaccination site and get vaccinated. This single-dose offers the same protection you get from two doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer Bio-N-Tech and Moderna vaccines.

“Also, I encourage those who have received their first dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to ensure they take their second dose when due, to be fully vaccinated and protected.

“The SCALES 2.0 Strategy, the J&J roll out and the vaccination site finder, are great opportunities for Nigeria to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine coverage and reinvigorate Routine Immunization uptake. The federal government has provided all Nigerians with the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19, and also enjoy the ease of access to childhood immunization.”

Culled from The Nation News…

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