Since joining the global campaign for vaccination against Covid-19 on the March 2nd, 2021, data from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) clearly shows that Nigeria has simultaneously failed in actualizing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) vaccination goals. This continues to be a lingering problem, as the federal government recently expressed concerns as regards the country’s low rate of vaccinated people. In close to two years since the implementation of vaccination against the Corona virus pandemic, the federal government reports that only approximately 27 million eligible Nigerians have undergone the full process of Covid-19 vaccination.
In context, Nigeria has recorded only a 13.8 percent vaccination rate out of over 215 million people. The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, made this known during the official commencement of SCALES 3.0, an optimized strategy launched by the federal government to help in addressing the Covid-19 vaccination gap. He disclosed that as of August 8th, the country’s vaccination gap had immensely progressed from last year’s 17 million to 40 million for the first dose.
Achieving a poignant immunity against the Covid-19 pandemic.
He however noted that only 27 million eligible persons have undergone the full vaccination doses, taking the proportion of eligible population of vaccinated people to be 13.8 percent. Working in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) towards achieving a poignant immunity against the Covid-19 pandemic, Nigeria was set on an ambition of fully vaccinating over 40 percent of its population of over 215 million people before the end of 2021 and 70 percent by the end of 2022.
Whilst commenting on the plan designated to accomplish the goal ahead of the vaccination roll out in 2021, Mr. Faisal Shuaib stated that to vaccinate 70 percent of the country’s population would equate to over 150 million of Nigeria’s over 215 million population, noting that the government had scheduled about 40 percent of the population to be vaccinated by the end of 2021 and another 30 percent covered by the end of 2022. Nigeria and a host of other African countries have fallen short of the 70 percent vaccination goal, with only Seychelles and Mauritius fully vaccinating 70 percent of their population.
SCALE 2.0 strategy, responsible for the increase in the vaccination rate.
Though the country has recorded an increase in the vaccination rate as a result of the optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy that was launched in February to increase the level of integration process of the Covid-19 vaccination and primary healthcare services, the recent strategic review illustrates that there has been a low Covid-19 risk perception that must be swiftly resolved. Mr. Faisal also noted that the states’ performance analysis illustrates that there are state specified constructions that must be addressed in order the hasten up this vaccination process. Thus, this is why the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health, through the NPHCDA have implemented the idea for SCALE 3.0.
He further stated that the idea for SCALE 3.0 was an evidence-based update, aimed at fixing the discrepancies of the SCALE 2.0, using the human-center demand generation design to curb the low Covid-19 risk perception throughout the country. This strategy also helps with integrating the Covid-19 vaccination with other public health services. The SCALE 3.0 will also address operational issues with fixed and temporarily fixed posts, the mass vaccination sites observed in SCALE 2.0, as well as supporting the logistics and payment of the vaccination teams as they achieve their targets.
Continuous review of strategies necessary for ensuring access to vaccines.
The Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, however noted that the country have experienced changes in the elements that impacts the demands and uptakes of these Covid-19 vaccines. According to him, these were changes in variations per state and thus requires a continuous review of the strategies for ensuring the access to vaccines and accountability. Though, there has been a decline in the Covid-19 related deaths due to the access to vaccines, Mr. Mustapha agreed that the current record of fully vaccinated persons needed immense improvement.
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