Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has updated Nigerians on the government’s progress towards deploying the COVID-19 vaccines.
He gave the update at the weekly briefing of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday.
TheCable brings to you seven things to know about the federal government’s vaccine rollout plan.
Who is eligible to take the vaccine?
Those eligible for vaccination were identified using the WHO vaccine allocation framework and prioritisation roadmap, as well as the disease burden data from the NCDC.
They are the frontline healthcare workers and support staff, including those that work in high-risk areas such as point of entry workers, rapid response teams, contact tracing teams, COVID-19 vaccination teams and strategic leadership.
Also included are people aged 50 years and above, people aged 18 to 49 years with significant co-morbidities and additional at-risk groups.
Those below the age of 18 are not eligible to take the vaccine.
Will pregnant women be vaccinated?
The government also plans to vaccinate pregnant women. However, the decision to vaccinate any pregnant woman will be made in consultation with her healthcare provider.
Her risk of contracting COVID-19 will also be put into consideration when deciding whether or not to vaccinate.
How many Nigerians will receive the vaccine?
After excluding those that are under 18 years old, the government plans to vaccinate approximately 109 million eligible Nigerians.
How long will it take to vaccinate them?
The government plans to vaccinate all eligible Nigerians over the course of two years.
How many doses of the vaccine are expected?
The government expects 57 million doses of vaccines from the COVAX facility and the African Union. A commitment of 1.5 million doses and 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca has also been made by MTN and the government of India respectively. Altogether, Nigeria is expected to receive a total of 58.6 million doses.
How will vaccinations be done?
The national technical working group (TWG) developed a strategy of pre-registration and scheduling of the target population to avoid overcrowding at vaccination centers. The strategy is called the TEACH approach.
T: Traditional method of vaccinating target populations using desk review of available data sources, identifying the vaccination sites and rolling out.
E: Electronic self-registration for health workers and the public; a link that provides an online form will be provided.
A: Assisted electronic registration.
C: Concomitant e-registration during walk-in to fixed sites/health facilities.
H: House-to-house registration using volunteers for an additional push to rapidly increase the e-registration.
Who will carry out the vaccinations?
Apart from the over 60,000 health workers who carry out routine immunisation services nationwide, additional personnel will be engaged to achieve adequate coverage level of vaccinations.
In addition to this, a training manual has been developed to help health workers be effective and efficient in their vaccine delivery strategy.