WHO urges African countries to rethink acceleration of vaccine uptake

WHO urges African countries to rethink acceleration of vaccine uptake

The World Health Organization(WHO) says Africa needs to engage community networks to scale up vaccination in the continent.

READ ALSO: Several countries haven’t met COVID-19 vaccination target – WHO
The WHO Regional Director Africa, Dr.

Matshidiso Moeti, gave the advice at the launching of “SCALES 2.

0” Strategy by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency in Abuja.

She said that the issue of vaccines has been very challenging in Africa and commended the lunch.

“It’s a great pleasure for me to be able to join you here today and I commend the action the government and partners are taking to re-launch the SCALES version two.

First I’d like to commend the government for all the efforts it has made in taking on the COVID-19 pandemic in its various facets including providing vaccination to the people of Nigeria.

And to thank you for taking this step to reflect, learn from the first phase of this response“.

Dr.

Moeti said.

She also said that African, especially Nigeria has learnt great lessons on how to leverage decentralizing the delivery of vaccines to the citizens.

She said that it was important for the government to build trust through working with community leaders.

“We have seen in many countries in Africa, not only in Nigeria people hesitating.

There are many concerns being expressed on the international media at the local level about this.

  So, engaging communities, working through community leader, religious leaders, trusted sources of information, community networks, is going to be extremely important.

She said.

The Nigeria Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire while speaking at the Launch of SCALES 2.

0 Strategy With Use Single Dose Johnson & Johnson Vaccine and Vaccination Site Finder, pointed out that the SCALES strategy has proven to be quite effective in ramping up COVID-19 vaccination coverage but the proportion of fully vaccinated Nigerians is still very low, partly because Nigeria has been using two-dose vaccines.

He said that it has become imperative that government launch the SCALES 2.

0 Strategy, which entails the integration of COVID-19 vaccination with childhood routine immunization for eligible adults 18 years and above and children zero to two years respectively, leveraging Mass Vaccination Campaigns, Routine Immunization Fixed sessions, Outreach services and Mobile services.

“We are also formally rolling out the Johnson and Johnson single dose vaccine while introducing the COVID-19 vaccination site finder.

“This means that 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”.

Dr.

Ehanire said.

He assured Nigerians that  there was adequate stock of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, as there are over 30 million doses in stock.

“I call on all eligible persons that are yet to receive their vaccination to go to the nearest COVID-19 vaccination site and get vaccinated.

This single dose offers the same protection you get from two doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer Bio-N-Tech and Moderna vaccines.

I encourage those who have received their first dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to ensure they take their second dose when due, to be fully vaccinated and protected.

The SCALES 2.

0 Strategy, the J&J roll out and the vaccination site finder, are great opportunities for Nigeria to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine coverage and reinvigorate Routine Immunization uptake“.

He said.

He added that the federal government has provided all Nigerians the opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19, and also enjoy the ease of access to childhood immunization.

Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr.

Faisal Shuaib, said that the agency will continue to strengthen vaccine security and accountability through the NPHCDA Joint Task Force on Vaccine Monitoring and Accountability.

He said that partners, communities and stakeholders will continue to be engaged to ensure inclusiveness and transparency in decision making and other processes involved in COVID-19 vaccination and overall health care delivery in Nigeria
The UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Dr.

Peter Hawkins reiterated the fact that “no one is safe until everyone is safe”.

He urged everyone to continue protecting themselves for the good of all.

The S.

C.

A.

L.

E.

S.

2.

0 Strategy which stands for Service Delivery Communication Accountability Logistics (Electronic Management Information System) Supportive Supervision, aimed at improving routine immunization in Nigeria.

It was introduced in November 2021 by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA) to rapidly ramp up COVID-19 vaccine coverage by expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines outside the health facility.

WHO urges African countries to rethink acceleration of vaccine uptake

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