By Deborah Christopher
As Nigerians await COVID-19 vaccine in less than the next 24 hours, the federal ministry of health in collaboration with National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has launched an online registration platform for Nigerians to register themselves, get their pre-vaccination numbers and pick a convenient date.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire made this known at the launch of the acronym T.E.A.C.H strategy for COVID-19 vaccination in Abuja on Tuesday.
5-point strategy for vaccinating eligible Nigerians has been developed by the vaccination implementing department of the Federal Ministry of Health so that Nigerians would have the ease and opportunity of undertaking electronic self registration for vaccination.
The strategy is designed to use both the traditional and modern technological method system of vaccination.
The T.E.A.C.H acronym stands for Traditional Vaccination Campaign Approach; E: Electronic Self-Registration by Eligible Nigerians; A: Assisted Electronic Registration of Eligible Nigerians; C: Concomitant Vaccination alongside Electronic Registration and H: House-to-House Electronic.
The minister said that in the fight against the virus, they are set to take same steps applied as during the fight against polio pandemic in the country which brought about the positive result of Nigeria being declared poliovirus free in vaccinating eligible citizens for COVID-19.
The minister also stated that with the experience of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA)during the fight and vaccination against polio in Nigeria, the agency would record another success in its fight against the virus.
He said “In less than 24 hours, the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive in Nigeria from the COVAX Facility and will be deployed to vaccinate, first our critical frontline health care workers, who are providing essential care especially for severe COVID-19 patients, next to those who are highest risk of severe disease from Covid-19 infection and down to 70 percent of Nigerians.”
“The World Health Organization has advised all countries to limit vaccination for now to persons above 18 years, until research and studies are completed on any possible effect on growing children or 18 years and below, except they have severe underlying illnesses where the benefits justify the risk.
“All countries are following this guideline and other global guidelines, as Nigeria will too. This is made more important by the fact that the target population for this vaccination, as we must remember, is not the usual cohort of children that Nigeria is used to, but this time, adults.
“I urge all eligible Nigerians to take the COVID-19 vaccination when it is their turn. This is the only way we can achieve herd immunity to stop the community transmission of this deadly virus.
Ehanire gave the assurance that with the expected delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines, Nigeria would be able to stamp out the dreaded disease.
The minister further warned Nigerians against impatience in vaccination. He explained that before the four million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine the country is going to receive gets finished, the country is definitely going to receive more vaccines and other types of vaccines against COVID-19 and the government will ensure that the entire vaccination administration will be sustained in a smooth way and will be applied nationwide – leaving no one behind Ehanire said.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib stated that the vaccination process will be in four phases with frontline healthcare workers and other frontline workers like religious leaders, military officers, police officers, oil and gas workers, Nigerians at the border posts, and strategic leaders amongst others will be prioritised first in terms of the vaccine administration.
He also added that critical stakeholders like the President, Vice President, Ministers, Governors and traditional leaders will be first to receive the first doses of the vaccines.
He gave reasons for this action to be that it’s a way to prove to the general public that the vaccines are safe and effective as approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).