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COVID-19: FG Expands Vaccination Sites; Institutes JTF to Check Sharp Practices

COVID-19: FG Expands Vaccination Sites; Institutes JTF to Check Sharp Practices

By Frank Ajufo

The Federal Government says all is set to ensure COVID-19 vaccination centres in all political wards across the country, which is part of its framework to fast track vaccine access for all eligible Nigerians.

This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire in Abuja during the bi-weekly Ministerial press briefing on update on COVID-19 pandemic response and health sector development.

On the directive on compulsory vaccination for federal civil servants, requiring proof of vaccination or present a negative PCR test result done within 72 hours, to gain access to their offices, Dr. Osagie said the move was highly commendable and will be enforced.

He explained that the directive will create increased demand, and to enhance access, provisions have been made to establish vaccination sites at public places with high human traffic across the country such as universities, polytechnics, shopping malls, religious centres, sporting events, conference centres, and markets among other measures.

“The Federal Ministry of Health is using the medium to inform the general public that through the NCDC, a revised protocol for Travellers has been issued to reflect the United Kingdom’s decision to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated travellers from Nigeria which took effect from October 11, as well as the Presidential Steering Committee removal of 3 countries: South Africa, Turkey, and Brazil from the restricted list following satisfactory report of review of the developments in these countries.

“Proactive measures are also taken by the FGN to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus and reduce the impact on the health systems. The recent directive issued with effect from 1st December, 2021, Federal Government employees shall be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done within 72 hours, to gain access to their offices in all locations within Nigeria and missions is highly commendable and will be enforced.

“Following this directive, it is envisaged that there will be increased demand for COVID-19 vaccine. Thus, to enhance access to COVID-19 vaccine, the Federal Ministry of Health through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency is making the following provisions; enhance security features of COVID-19 vaccination card to reduce forgery, establish vaccination sites at public places with high human traffic across the country such as universities, polytechnics, shopping malls, religious centres, sporting events, conference centres, and markets.

“Statistics generated by NPHCDA indicates that as at 17th October, 2021, a total of 5,337,635 eligible populations have received the first dose representing 4.8 percent of Nigeria’s target population while 2,665,173 have been vaccinated with the second dose signifying 2.4 percent of the target vaccination of 70 percent of the population by 2022. We encourage Nigerians who received the vaccines to complete the second doses and all Nigerians that are eligible to avail themselves to receive the vaccines.”

Representing the Director General of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPCDA), the Director Planning, Research and Statistics, Dr. Abdullahi Garba explained that Nigeria’s vaccination framework and progress has gained world recognition and there is the desire to expand on it.

Garba said the NPHCDA under the guidance of the Ministry of Health has established a Joint Task Force (JTF) to check activities of vaccine racketeering and ensure strict compliance by healthcare workers.

“So far in Nigeria, we have vaccinated 5,348,573 eligible people with first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which we were able to immunise 2,681,129 with second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This is the say of the one hundred and twelve million eligible Nigerians targeted for vaccination throughout the rollout cycle, we are able to cover only 4.8% of that population with one dose and only 2.4% of eligible Nigerian residents with two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

“You will agree with me that this is not enough. We were supposed to go much higher than that. Therefore, it is a collective responsibility with your support and support of every stakeholder in this country to fast track the rollout of vaccination.

“It is for that desire that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency under the guidance of the honourable Minister of Health that we have decided to expand the vaccination sites.

“Therefore all public health facilities at least one in every political word is expected to provide COVID-19 vaccination. Hitherto, it used to 3 to 5 centres per local government.

“In the same vain, we are engaging corporate public and private bodies, we are profiling them to see how e can support them.

“We have set a criteria so as to ensure that we protect the system, to avoid vaccine racketeering, as well as people trying to compromise health workers and acquire the card without vaccination. For that, we have established what you call a JTF, a Joint Task Force which comprises of people from our organisation, people from DSS as well as people from ICPC together with traditional leaders in every state. Therefore, we are warning any health worker that is planning or engaging in vaccine racketeering that they will definitely fall into our net and will be prosecuted.”

Representing the Executive Director of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Director of Health Emergencies, Preparedness and Response, Dr. John Oladejo while giving update of week 40 to 41 of COVID-19 in-country management and response said Lagos though experiencing a decline in number of cases, still leads in the contribution of national figures, followed by Rivers Anambra and Edo.

“We have two 209,158 cases with 3,194,435 tests conducted so far, with 9,265 active cases (4%), we have 167, 089 discharged (94.2%) so far, with 2,804 deaths.

“So the cases actually increased by 0.3% over the week and we are actually using both PCR and RDT for our tests. I want to talk about the trend in tests positivity which shows that there is an increase in tests positivity rate from 3.5% in week 40 to 3.7% in week 41.

“Over the last four weeks there is a decline in some states and these states are Oyo, Kwara, Ogun, Lagos, Ondo, Edo, Delta, while there is increase in four states of Kano, Kaduna, FCT and Gombe. Efforts is being made in these four states to increase in the response as well as surveillance work we are doing in those four states. In the remaining 21 states we cannot really say the direction of the trend because of the few cases recorded in those states.

“In the last seven days, we have some states that have recorded increase in cases – Abia, Anambra, Cross River and Edo – while others are just in between.”

It was also revealed that Nigeria currently has over 9 million doses of various brands of COVID-219 vaccines and Nigerians are urged to get vaccinated at no cost, also collect prove of vaccination.




Dr. Chris Elemuwa

This is a great initiative and insight! It's apt & timely, the struggle should continue until we're able to attend 70 percent coverage of our population to be able to rely on held immunity. People's cautionness & Awarenesss on COVID-19 vaccination have been stimulated and with the payment of the Health Workers now, the morale is high & we should cash on these to push on, though expensive but worthwhile!