The Federal Government has launched an online registration programme and portal for Nigerians to register for vaccination ahead of the arrival of the first batch of the country’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The registration programme, dubbed: “T• E• A• C• H Strategy for #COVID19 Vaccination and Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) System in Nigeria”, was launched by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Abuja on Monday.
In his remarks, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA, explained that the T• E• A• C• H acronym stands for:
•T: Traditional Vaccination Campaign Roll-out
•E: Electronic Self-Registration by Eligible Nigerians
•A: Assisted Electronic Registration of Eligible Nigerians
•C: Concomitant Vaccination alongside Electronic Registration
•H: House-to-House Electronic Registration.
Shuaib noted that the roll-out of the programme would not have been possible without the support of the Ministry of Health and its relevant agencies, adding that the country’s experience in immunization campaigns will be relevant for the COVID-19 vaccinations.
He said: “In Nigeria we have between 6-8 vaccination campaigns in Nigeria. We will be bringing this experience to the COVID-19 vaccination and reduce hitches.”
Also speaking, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, said vaccination with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a critical part of Nigeria’s strategy to counter the pandemic.
Ehanire said healthcare workers and frontline workers (the military, police, oil and gas workers, Nigerians at the border posts) and strategic leaders will be prioritised to receive the COVID-19 vaccine first due to the nature of their jobs and high exposure rate to the virus.
He noted that the use of the online registration system is to eliminate issues of integrity and data, noting that the main objective is distribute the vaccine to Nigerians in a phased and equitable manner.
He said: “We in Nigeria finally have the privilege of being able to join other countries in kickstarting the immunization programme, which will prioritise, first those people most at risk of infection due to their exposure in the line of duty.
“Our goal is to introduce COVID-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner, based on advice of the WHO and the experience we observe other countries to have made, and ultimately vaccinating all eligible Nigerians within the next two years, to ensure herd immunity.
“It is the launching of the T.E.A.C.H Strategy for COVID-19 Vaccination and Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) as a very important activity to assure Nigerians of our readiness to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination campaign smoothly.
“I commend the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), under the leadership of Dr. Faisal Shuaib and his hard-working team, who have developed a home grown strategy to deliver this novel vaccine.
“The introduction of the electronic management of immunization data is critical to addressing challenges with integrity and quality data and ultimately, primary health care data.”
The minister added that “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”.
In a message on its Twitter page on Monday, the NPHCDA announced that a female healthcare professional, Osindeinde Abodede, emerged the first person to register for the vaccination.
“Congratulations, Mrs. Osindeinde Ademilayo Abosede, a frontline health care professional. She is the first to register for the #COVID19 Vaccination,” the message read.
The NPHCDA urged Nigerians to visit the portal and register to receive the vaccine.
— NPHCDA (@NphcdaNG) March 1, 2021
Nigeria is expected to receive 3.92 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday from COVAX, a United Nations initiative set up to help low and middle income countries get the vaccine.