The Lagos State Government has developed a robust vaccination strategy leveraging on both the strengths of the public and private sectors of our healthcare system with a full understanding that a substantial proportion of the population will need to be vaccinated to mitigate the impact of a fourth wave in Lagos and reduce the impact of the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus and prevent the re-emergence of the catastrophes witnessed during the previous waves.
This strategy dubbed ‘Count Me In! 4 million Lagosians Vaccinated Against COVID-19’ is aimed at targeting the full vaccination of four million Lagos residents before the end of December 2021; and was launched by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu alongside the Honorable Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi and the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, in a side event of the 7th African Conference on One Health and Biosecurity which focused on Vaccine strategies. Once achieved, this will bring the State closer to the Mr. Governors mandate to vaccinate 30% of the Lagos population within one year which started in August of 2021.
This is a concerted effort to achieve the World Health Organization’s () target of vaccinating 40% of the world before the end of this year. Lagos thus far has only been able to fully vaccinate just under 3% of its population
The State Government, through the Primary Health Care Board, does not have the capacity alone to ramp up vaccination to this massive level in such a short time and before the deadline, hence the need to include the private sector. The public private partnership is similar to the strategy we deployed for escalating our 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 the inclusion of the significant capacity of the private sector but government retaining strict regulatory oversight and quality function.
With this approach, we intend to ramp up our vaccination strategy using the existing public facilities as well as inclusion of some private facilities. It is imperative to emphasize that the vaccines administered in public facilities is free and would remain free to the public as they were contributed to us by the Federal Government and our donor partners, those wishing to receive the vaccines can go to any of the designated 206 government facilities and receive their dose totally free of charge.
However, those that wish to receive the vaccines within the comforts of a private facility can do so 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 which includes logistics, personnel, quality oversight, administrative and overhead costs. The cost will be proportionally lower for single dose or those wishing to take a single booster dose.
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 of our public personnel so that the customer experience in our public facilities would be matched equally with that of the private sector.
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. This is in furtherance of effort to increase the reach and access to the available vaccines provided through the generous contributions and donations by the Federal Government and our donors.
By doing this, we are once again recognizing the impact of the collaboration between the public and private sector for healthcare and strengthening the link for far-reaching initiatives in the State. 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 is important.
Those that require their vaccination at any of our public facilities should please visit the national platform at https://publicreg.
Both the public and private facilities would also be available to assist Lagos residents to make these bookings, however, we strongly suggest that residents make these bookings before proceeding to their facility of choice to avoid overcrowding and delays.
The list of public facilities is already in the public domain but republished here again. The list of private facilities in phase one of this process will be published in the next few days.
As earlier mentioned, it is important again to emphasize that the COVID vaccines donated to Lagos by the Federal Government is FREE and its administration comes at no cost to citizens who visit any of the designated public vaccination sites located across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas of the State. It is equally important to mention that our public vaccination sites have the capacity to effectively administer the COVID vaccines on any person who visit irrespective of class, social or religion inclination or tribe.
“We are confident of our COVID management and vaccination strategies, and our plans are open to public scrutiny and critique; however, we will not be arm-twisted by interests intended to erode the successes and gains we have made as a government. We will continue to perform our responsibilities as the public protector during this response and we pledge that there will be no exploitation, as we seek to secure a win-win situation in our partnership and collaboration with the private sector to achieve a COVID free Lagos.
At this point, I would like to thank His Excellency, the Executive Governor of and the Incident Commander of the COVID-19 response in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his unflinching support in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib and his team for their contribution in the remodeling and development of the Lagos State Vaccine Strategy, my resilient team at the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board led by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ibrahim Mustafa for their resolve in ensuring everyone in Lagos State has access to the COVID-19 vaccines and to every other important stakeholder for their support of the entire process.