By Zayamu Hassan
The Nigeria’s Federal Government on Tuesday launched SCALE 2.0 Strategy, single shot of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and the COVID-19 site finder.
The launched of the strategies was due to the refusal of Nigerians to go for their second of the vaccine after noticing some mild adverse effect.
The launch primarily is to improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake which is currently moving in snail-speed in Nigeria.
Speaking at the formal launch of the strategy in Abuja, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said Nigeria currently vaccinates a little over 200,000 people per day with the COVIID-19 vaccine.
He noted that for Nigeria to meet its target of vaccinating 70 per cent of its eligible population before of this year, it needs to vaccinate 550, 000 people per day.
“Today, we are also launching the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for everyone. We understand that one of the reasons why there is a gap between our first and second doses is because people experience COVID-19 adverse effect following COVID-19 vaccination.
“Although these adverse effects are largely mild, we know that the opportunity to have that single shot not only in the hardest to reach areas but everybody having access to one single shot will definitely increase our coverage for COVID-19 vaccination.
“We will also be launching the COVID-19 site finder. This will again improve the ability of Nigerians to have access to COVID-19 vaccine. Wherever you are in Nigeria, if you are able to sign in into this website, you will be shown the nearest COVID-19 vaccination centre so you can make your way to this very centre.”
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said that the SCALES is an acronym for Service delivery, Communication, Accountability, Logistics, Electronic reporting, and Supportive supervision for the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination.
While explaining the rationale behind the single dose J&J vaccine, the Minister said that: “Although the SCALES strategy has proven to be quite effective in ramping up COVID-19 vaccination coverage, the proportion of fully vaccinated Nigerians is still very low, partly because we have been using two-dose vaccines.
“Unfortunately, most people are reluctant to take their second dose for various reasons including fear of a repeat of the mild side effects they may have experienced with the first dose.”
With the launch of the SCALE 2.0 Strategy, the Minister said, “all childhood vaccination, including administration of vitamin A, will now be done alongside COVID-19 vaccination at COVID-19 vaccination sites.
“Eligible children will now be able to receive their BCG, Penta 3, OPV 3, OPV 1&2, Measles, Yellow Fever vaccines, as well as Vitamin A supplement, at the sites where the adults receive COVID-19 vaccines. This is the good news we are bringing to Nigerians today.”