Nigeria: FG unveils Scales 3.0 strategy for COVID-19 vaccination

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*Nigerians to get vaccinated in their homes, offices

Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha taking his second  booster dose on Monday .

WorldStage Newsonline– The Federal Government of Nigeria has lunched SCALES 3.0 Strategy for Covid-19 Vaccination, aimed at accelerating integrated COVID-19 vaccination and other routine immunization through National Primary Health Care, across the country

SCALES 3.0 strategy campaign is designed, using mobile special teams to take vaccine to the door steps were people lives and to workplaces.

SCALES 3.0 is an evidence-based update that fixes the bugs in SCALES 2.0 and uses human-centered demand generation design to address low COVID-19 risk perception in the country.

Speaking at the lunch of the SCALES 3.0, on Monday in Abuja, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said “with decline in the deaths to COVID-19 resulting in the ongoing vaccination, our guard must not be lowered or give into complacency because the virus is still much around and can mutate.”

According to him, “Nigeria has continued to experience changes in the factors that influence demand and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. These changing situations are not uniform across the country. They vary from state to state, and therefore require continuous review of our strategies for promoting demand and ensuring vaccine access and accountability.

“Earlier in February 2022, we launched optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy, which though has proven to be effective in ramping up COVID 19 vaccination coverage, the proportion of fully vaccinated Nigerians is still low when compared to the set target. The present record of only 24.4%  of the total eligible population of fully vaccinated as at August 3 2022 leaves much to be desired.”

He said, the SCALES 3.0 strategy would address the identified implementation gaps in SCALES 2.0 and bring about more accountability for performance, strengthen electronic data reporting and promote robust demand generation at the community levels.

On his part, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, explained that since the flagged off of optimized SCALES 2.0 in February this year to ramp-up integrated COVID-19 vaccination and PHC services, national vaccination coverage was to progress from about 17 million to 40 million as at 8th August 2022 for the first dose, with the figures representing over a 100% increase in coverage during the first phase.

He said, the SCALES 3.0 is an evidence-based update that fixes the bugs in SCALES 2.0 and uses human-centered demand generation design to address low COVID-19 risk perception in the country.

He said, “The strategy retains integration of COVID-19 vaccination with other PHC services, but uses an implementation approach that seeks to address bottlenecks on service delivery, communication, accountability, logistics, EMID and supportive supervision from bottom-up and state specific contexts.

 “On the service delivery, SCALES 3.0 will operate on focused campaign mode with mobile and special teams taking vaccines to where people live and work. This will address the operational issues with the fixed posts, temporary fixed posts and mass vaccination sites that were observed in SCALES 2.0.”

On COVID-19 vaccination performance level, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said only 3 states, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Kano, have vaccination coverage of 50 percent, leaving 34 states performing sub-optimally in terms of COVID-19 vaccination coverage.

“Hence, the need for the team to refine the current SCALES 2.0 strategy to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination, identifying unique enablers per state and deploy state-specific strategies,” he said.

He explained that termed SCALES 3.0, the strategy will be anchored on an intensive 3 months campaign, performance-based incentives, optimized integrated package of services, decentralized and incentivized demand generation strategies, partners coordination and accountability, and state-specific context and strategies.

“Based on these principles, the strategy is poised to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus and gain the desired herd immunity as quickly as possible,” he said.

The Minister, however noted that the campaign can only succeed “if there is mass mobilization of the people.

“We are therefore calling on state governors, local government chairmen, traditional and religious leaders, the media, and every Nigerian to lend their support in mobilizing the unvaccinated eligible individuals to register and get vaccinated or walk into the nearest vaccination centres and get vaccinated.”

According to him, the Federal Government remained committed to the provision of safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines in the country backed with accountability and transparency.

“Every COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria is tagged and tracked by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure quality and potency are maintained across the supply chain”, he said.

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