The Federal Government Monday launched the electronic registration platform to enable eligible Nigerians get vaccinated against the deadly covid-19 pandemic.
The T.E.A.C.H strategy, which combines indigenous (traditional) approaches with modern technologically enabled systems of vaccination, will leverage experiences gained during the polio immunization programs.
Recall that Nigeria is set to receive its first batch of 3.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, according to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
The Executive Director/CEO of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, 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, emphasised that the vaccination process will be in four phases; frontline health workers being the priority group of eligible populations to receive the first doses of vaccines arriving the country.
He further noted that strategic leaders like the President, Vice President, Ministers, Governors and Religious and Traditional Leaders will be among those to receive the first doses of the vaccines, in order to show to the public that the vaccines are safe and effective as validated by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
He said, “In phase one, healthcare workers, frontline workers, ports of entry (air, land, and sea ports), 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 the 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.”
The NPHCDA boss explained that the e-registration process will make for easy and stress-free registration prior to vaccination. He noted that once an individual completes registration, a unique pre-vaccination identifier will be issued via the website – with which he or she will take to thevaccination site for proper identification before getting vaccinated.
Noting that while registering, Nigerians can choose a health facility that is closest to them to get vaccinated, Dr Shuaib stated that individuals can assess the e-registration portal via the Agency’s website – https://nphcdaict.com.ng/publicreg
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said: “T.E.A.C.H. is an acronym for a 5-point strategy developed by the vaccination implementing arm of the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPCDA), out of its many years of vaccination Implementation experience in Nigeria, and it translates as: 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 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.
“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.”
“All questions can be directed to the Ministry of Health and NPCDA, but this is not a time to work at cross purposes; it is not a time to be making private arrangements for vaccine procurement and administration.
“Vaccines that are not approved by NAFDAC will be determined as dangerous, and will be seized by Customs Services and NAFDAC, who are on high alert for illegal vaccine importation. Fake vaccines already abound in the illegal market.”
The Country Representative of the WHO, Walter Kazadi, while applauding the political will and leadership of the current administration, stressed that vaccines alone will not win the war against covid-19.
He therefore urged every Nigerian to comply with the extant non-pharmaceutical interventions of regular handwashing, sanitizing, proper use of face masks, avoiding mass gatherings and practicing social distancing.