The Federal Government on Monday unveiled how COVID-19 vaccine will be rolled out at the launch of T.E.A.C.H and Electronic Management of Immunisation Data (EMID) – a strategy to facilitate distribution of vaccine.
Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire said the vaccination process will be in four phases with frontline health workers being the priority group of eligible people to receive the first doses of vaccines arriving in the country today.
The minister said the Phase 1 of the vaccination will specifically accommodate healthcare workers, security agents, first responders, petrol station workers, laboratory workers and strategic political leadership.
The strategic leaders like the President, vice president, ministers, governors and religious and traditional leaders will also be among those to receive the first doses of the vaccines.
The Phase 2, according to Ehanire, will include adults from 50 years and above and those with underlying conditions between the age of 18-49.
“Phase 3 – people in Local Government Areas with high population of COVID-19 infection that missed phase 1 and 2 and Phase 4 – everybody else,” he explained.
The strategy code named: “T• E• A• C• H” was initiated by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health(FMOH).
“T: Traditional method of vaccinating target populations using desk review of available data sources, identifying the vaccination sites and rolling out; E: Electronic self-registration for health workers and the public; a link which provides an online form will be provided; A: Assisted electronic registration; C: Concomitant e-registration during walk in to fixed sites/health facilities; H: House-to-House registration using volunteers for additional push to rapidly increase the e-registration.”
Ehanire said the launch of T.E.A.C.H and EMID will ensure the smooth roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the country.
“Our goal is to introduce COVID-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner, based on advice of the World Health Organisation (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.
“We in Nigeria finally have the privilege of joining other countries to start the vaccination, which will prioritise, first those people most at risk of infection due to their exposure in the line of duty,” he said.
“Vaccination with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a critical part of the country’s strategy to counter the COVID-19 pandemic and the stop transmission of the virus.
“No private hospital or organisation has experience in handling this type of vaccine than the NPHCDA,” he said.
Dr. Walter Kazadi, WHO Country Representative, said the country had led an exemplary response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“On behalf of the WHO and all Development Partners, I wish to congratulate all Nigerians for this important milestone.
“Congratulations Nigeria,” Kazadi said.
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, while unpacking the T•E•A•C•H Strategy, said it was an Indigenous approach to COVID-19 Vaccination in the country.
Shuaib said the agency has provided an e-registration link to enable Nigerians register for the COVID-19 vaccines themselves, to obtain their pre-vaccination numbers and schedule their vaccination.
“We will be bringing this experience to the COVID-19 vaccination and reduce hitches.
“They will need to be scheduled for this by filling the EMID. Those who are not health workers will be made aware of when they can get their turn.
“Those who can’t fill the EMID will be assisted, and for those who don’t have access to the EMID house-to-house registration will be carried out to get them on the database for vaccination using T.E.A.C.H,” he explained.