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Lagos launches Covid-19 mass vaccination campaign

Executive Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib; representative of Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Naval Transformation, Naval Headquarters, Rear Admiral Idowu Yusuf; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi

The Lagos State Government has launched a mass covid-19 vaccination campaign tagged: “Count me in! 4 million Lagosians Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Campaign”

The campaign which is part of efforts aimed at halting the community spread of the virus and mitigating the potential damage that its further spread may cause is also targeted at enabling the State to achieve the prescribed herd immunity against the global pandemic.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who launched the campaign on the sidelines of the 7th African Conference on One Health and Biosecurity in explained that the Mass Vaccination Campaign which commenced today would run till Saturday, December 25th, 2021, while arrangements have been made to set up mass vaccination sites in high traffic locations across the State.

We will set up COVID-19 vaccination fixed posts across 205 public health primary centres, 14 secondary and tertiary hospitals, and 400 private health centres across the 57 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas. We aim to strengthen vaccine equity to ensure that every resident of Lagos State has a fair and equal chance to fully access the vaccine regardless of who they are or where they are from which is key to seeing the unbearable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic” Gov. Sanwo-Olu said.

According to the Governor, the total number of individuals vaccinated with the first dose of either AstraZeneca or Moderna is one point two million and fully vaccinated individuals are up to five hundred and fifty thousand, accounting for just about four percent of the target
population to be vaccinated.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who announced that Lagos and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, would partner the private sector in this mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19, however, explained that while administration of the vaccines would be free at Public Health facilities, an administrative cost would apply to residents who choose to receive the vaccine at approved private facilities of their choice.

He said “Whilst the vaccines remain free as they were contributed to us by the Federal Government through the NPHCDA and our donors, a charge of N6,000 has been approved for relevant stakeholders in the administration of the vaccines in the private sector. This is to allow the private sector to recoup the resources they have deployed in the process of administering this vaccine. We encourage all Lagos residents to visit our listed public facilities to receive this vaccine at no cost to them; however, those that wish to receive them in the comforts of a private facility can do so at this administrative cost”.

Earlier in his address, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib expressed confidence that the target of fully vaccinating four million Lagosians against the global pandemic before Christmas is achievable.

He said: “The critical position of Lagos as the major gateway into the country has made it very vulnerable. What we have therefore set out to do is to proactively ensure that as our citizens who live abroad return home for Christmas, Lagosians are not infected with new strains of the Delta virus. As you are aware, there is already a fourth wave in the UK. We do not want a fourth wave of COVID-19 in Lagos or anywhere in Nigeria for that matter

targeted eligible population

Dr Faisal disclosed that a total of 5,588,477 eligible persons have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria as of the 26th of October 2021 adding that 2,950,236 have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated.

“These represent 5% and 2.6% respectively, of the targeted eligible population of 111,776,503. From this data, it is obvious that we are very far from reaching our target of vaccinating almost 112 million eligible persons, which is necessary for Nigeria to attain herd immunity against COVID-19. This is why the flag-off today is very significant.

Describing the Mass Vaccination Campaign as a carefully designed and quality-controlled strategy that creates greater access to COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria through prudent expansion of vaccination sites and involvement of private and even more public health facilities in vaccine administration, Dr Faisal said Nigeria now has enough vaccines and urged all eligible citizens to get vaccinated.

Reporting by Omolara Omosanya; Editing by Tina Oyinsan