No fewer than 135 private health facilities have been enrolled into the Lagos State Government’s mass vaccination strategy programme targeted at vaccinating four million residents by December 2021.
This brings to 360, the number of public and private vaccination sites in Lagos.
The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, disclosed this at a news briefing over the weekend, explaining that the 360 vaccination sites comprising the 135 private health facilities and 225 existing public vaccination sites have been earmarked for the mass vaccination campaign.
While noting that more private facilities would be added to the list, Abayomi said the enrolled facilities were engaged after a rigorous selection and accreditation process hinged on quality assurance, vaccine safety and follow-up care. He added that the list of accredited private and public facilities is available on the website of NPHCDA and all official communication channels of the Lagos State Government.
According to the Commissioner, the State Government decided to partner with the private sector to rapidly ramp up COVID-19 vaccination in order to achieve herd immunity.
He said: “The decision to leverage on the private sector is based solely on our resolve to include private health facilities and corporate institutions as additional sites for the COVID-19 vaccination administration to mitigate the impact of the fourth wave in Lagos. This is in furtherance of efforts to increase the reach and access to the available vaccines provided through the generous contributions and donations by the Federal Government and our donors.
“We also understand that there are citizens, who for personal reasons, would prefer to receive the vaccine at the comfort of a private facility. It is important that such citizens should not be deprived access to the vaccine, especially as this negates the principle of vaccine equity.
“Therefore, the involvement of the private sector to administer the vaccines to such people at a minimal administrative cost of N6,000 for two doses, which covers the cost that the private sector will incur to facilitate the administration of the vaccine including logistics, personnel, quality oversight, administrative and overhead costs.
“It is imperative to emphasize that the vaccines administered in public facilities are free and would remain free to the public”.
The Commissioner urged members of the public, who wish to be vaccinated at any of the accredited 225public or 135 private vaccination sites, to visit the NPHCDA website – https://nphcda.vaccination.gov.ng to register and schedule their vaccination or register on arrival at any of the 360 public and private vaccination sites.
Abayomi explained that the inclusion of the private health facilities into the public-private partnership is similar to the strategy deployed by the State for escalating COVID-19 testing, which resulted in a dramatic increase in testing done in Lagos from an average of 200 a day to over 2,000 a day culminating in a total of 800,000 tests in less than a year, and Lagos State accounting for more than 30% alone of all COVID-19 PCR tests done in Nigeria.
“This demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships with inclusion of the significant capacity of the private sector but the government retaining strict regulatory oversight and quality function”, he said.
The Commissioner averred that vaccinating four million residents with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines will bring the State closer to achieving the mandate of the Lagos State Governor to vaccinate 30% of the Lagos population within one year.
“I wish to note that no one is compelled to receive their vaccines at any private facility as the vaccines in both are of the same quality and brand. We have also invested in training our public personnel so that the customer experience in our public facilities would be matched equally with that of the private sector”, Abayomi said.