As part of measures aimed at ensuring hitch-free vaccination programs in Nigeria, the Federal Government has launched an electronic registration platform that would enable Nigerians to get vaccinated against coronavirus pandemics.
It indicated that the move was to ensure a seamless vaccination process that would guarantee all Nigerians across the country get the needed shots irrespective of ethnic, religious, and political affiliations
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said that the adopted T.E.A.C.H strategy that birthed the online registration combined of indigenous (traditional) approaches with modern technologically enabled systems of vaccination.
Speaking on Monday during the official launch of the T.E.A.C.H strategy for COVID-19 vaccination of eligible Nigerians and Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) in Abuja, Shuaib hinted that the country would leverage the experiences gained during the polio immunization programs.
According to him, the e-registration process will make for easy and stress-free registration prior to vaccination and once an individual completes registration, a unique pre-vaccination identifier will be issued via the website with which he or she will take to the vaccination site for proper identification before getting vaccinated.
The NPHCDA boss noted that Nigerians can assess the e-registration portal via the agency’s website, adding that Nigerians can choose a health facility that is closest to them to get vaccinated while registering.
Furthermore, he explained that when the vaccines arrive in the country, frontline workers, including strategic leaders like the President, Vice President, Ministers, Governors, and Religious and Traditional Leaders would be among those to receive the first doses of the vaccines in line with the four phases outlined for the vaccination process.
Shuaib said that those listed for the first shots were to show Nigerians that the vaccines are safe and effective as validated by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“In phase one, healthcare workers, frontline workers, ports of entry (air, land, and seaports), Military, covid-19 rapid response team (RRT), laboratory network, policemen, and petrol station workers and Strategic leaders, will be vaccinated first. Frontline workers include support staff such as cleaners, security staff, body handlers, drivers, waste managers, oil & gas workers, bankers, etc.
“Next is phase two, which will comprise older adults aged 50 years and above, and those with comorbidities aged 18 – 49 years of age. Phase three includes those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases one and two, and phase four includes other eligible populations as vaccines become available.”
Giving more details on the strategy, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, explained that the “T.E.A.C.H. was an acronym for a 5-point strategy developed by the vaccination implementing arm of the ministry.
He noted that the acronym translates to T: 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 Registration.
“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 the highest risk of severe disease from Covid-19 infection and down to 70 percent of Nigerians.
“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.
“Well before the 4 million doses of AstraZeneca we are going to receive is expended, we shall be receiving more vaccines, so there should be no need for anxiety. We shall also be receiving other types of vaccines and all these will ensure that the entire vaccination administration will be sustained in a smooth way and will be applied nationwide – leaving no one behind,” he said.