Canada Lifts Covid Vaccine Mandate For Domestic, Outbound Travel

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 12, 2022 Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference on the Covid-19 situation in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP)

 

 

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for domestic and outbound travelers, as well as federal bureaucrats and transportation workers, will be suspended starting next week, officials said Tuesday.

Masking, however, will still be required on planes and trains.

“I’m pleased to announce that on June 20 our government will suspend the requirement to be vaccinated in order to board a plane or train in Canada,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra told a news conference.

He cited a high rate of inoculations and a falling number of Covid cases and hospitalizations across the country. The move also comes as most other pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc added that this will not, however, immediately ease a logjam at Canadian airports.

That problem, along with delays in the issuing of passports, sparked a public outcry in recent weeks, as more and more Canadians seek to take trips after more than two years of pandemic restrictions and lockdowns.

The mandatory vaccine policy for travelers was rolled out last October, and Alghabra warned it could be reimposed in the fall if Covid-19 cases jump back up.

“Our government will always continue to evaluate measures and will not hesitate to make additional adjustments based on the latest public health advice and science,” he said.

Travelers entering Canada, meanwhile, must continue to show proof of vaccination. Those departing the country will no longer need to do so.

Alghabra noted that the United States, a popular destination for Canadians, still requires proof of vaccination for those arriving from abroad.

In a statement, the Canadian government said it was maintaining the requirement for inbound travelers to be vaccinated because “vaccination rates and virus control in other countries varies significantly” and it will “serve as added protection against any future variant.”

More than 90 percent of Canadians have received two Covid vaccine doses, while about half have also received a booster, according to government figures.

Pfizer Offers To Sell Medicines At Cost To Poorest Countries

(FILES) This file photo taken on November 23, 2020 shows a syringe and a bottle reading “Covid-19 Vaccine” next to the Pfizer company logo. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP)

 

 

 

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Wednesday said it would sell its patented drugs on a not-for-profit basis to the world’s poorest countries, as part of a new initiative announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“The time is now to begin closing this gap” between people with access to the latest treatments and those going without, chief executive Albert Bourla told attendees at the exclusive Swiss mountain resort gathering.

“An Accord for a Healthier World” focuses on five areas: infectious diseases, cancer, inflammation, rare diseases and women’s health — where Pfizer currently holds 23 patents, including the likes of Comirnaty and Paxlovid, its Covid vaccine and oral treatment.

“This transformational commitment will increase access to Pfizer-patented medicines and vaccines available in the United States and the European Union to nearly 1.2 billion people,” Angela Hwang, group president of the Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group, told AFP.

Five countries: Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda have committed to joining, with a further 40 countries — 27 low-income and 18 lower-middle-income — eligible to sign bilateral agreements to participate.

“Pfizer’s commitment sets a new standard, which we hope to see emulated by others,” Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame said.

But he added that “additional investments and strengthening of Africa’s health systems and pharmaceutical regulators” would also be needed.

– Seven years behind –
Developing countries experience 70 percent of the world’s disease burden but receive only 15 percent of global health spending, leading to devastating outcomes.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, one child in 13 dies before their fifth birthday, compared to one in 199 in high-income countries.

Cancer-related mortality rates are also far higher in low and middle-income countries — causing more fatalities in Africa every year than malaria.

All this is set to a backdrop of limited access to the latest drugs.

Essential medicines and vaccines typically take four to seven years longer to reach the poorest countries, and supply chain issues and poorly resourced health systems make it difficult for patients to receive them once approved.

“The Covid-19 pandemic further highlighted the complexities of access to quality healthcare and the resulting inequities,” said Hwang.

“We know there are a number of hurdles that countries have to overcome to gain access to our medicines. That is why we have initially selected five pilot countries to identify and come up with operational solutions and then share those learnings with the remaining countries.”

– ‘Very good model’ –
Specifically, the focus will be on overcoming regulatory and procurement challenges in the countries, while ensuring adequate levels of supply from Pfizer’s side.

The “not-for-profit” price tag takes into account the cost to manufacture and transport of each product to an agreed upon port of entry, with Pfizer charging only manufacturing and minimum distribution costs.

If a country already has access to a product at a lower price tier, for example vaccines supplied by GAVI, a public-private global partnership, that lower price will be maintained.

Hwang acknowledged that even an at-cost approach could be challenging for the most cash-strapped countries, and “this is why we have reached out to financial institutions to brief them on the Accord and ask them to help support country level financing.”

Pfizer will also reach out to other stakeholders — including governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs and even other pharmaceuticals — to ask them to join the Accord.

It is also using funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance work on a vaccine against Group B Streptococcus (GBS), the leading cause of stillbirth and newborn mortality in low-income countries.

“This type of accord is a very good model, it’s going to help get medicines out,” Gates told the Davos conference, adding that “partnerships with companies like Pfizer have been key to the progress we have made” on efforts like vaccines.

FG Receives Two Million Doses Of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

Officials of the EU with NPHCDA boss, Dr Faisal Shuaib during handover of the vaccines.

 

The Federal Government has received two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine donated by the European Union.

The formal handover of the vaccines was done on Monday at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), National Strategic Cold Store, Abuja.

The EU ambassador, Samuela Isopi who made the presentation of the vaccines said the donation is part of the EU’s commitment to jointly combat the pandemic.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib said the Federal Government also in combating the pandemic has procured over 39 million doses of the J&J vaccine, through AFREXIM bank.

READ ALSO: ASUU Begins Mobilisation Of Members For Possible Strike

He said only about 12 million doses of this single-shot vaccine are currently in the cold store.

The Federal Government in August 2021 took delivery of 177,600 Johnson & Johnson vaccines in Abuja. This marked the first wave of arrivals of COVID-19 vaccines procured through the African Union.

In September 2021, additional 1,123,200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine were received. NPHCD said the shipments were received as part of the 39,800,000 doses procured by the Federal Government.

Shuaib said the single-shot J&J vaccine was received through the African Vaccine Acquisition Team (AVAT) of the African Union, a facility provided by AFREXIMBANK.

US Ships Nearly 1.7 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses To Uganda

A Photo of COVID19 vaccine doses from #COVAX

 

The United States is shipping nearly 1.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Uganda, a White House official said Thursday, in the latest wave of jabs donated to stem the global pandemic.

“Thanks to the US commitment to playing a leading role in ending the pandemic everywhere, the United States is shipping 1,684,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine to Uganda,” a senior US official said, asking not to be named.

The vaccines are being shipped, starting Thursday, through Covax, the global distribution initiative co-led by public-private partnership Gavi.

On Wednesday, White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced that the United States had reached the milestone of 400 million vaccine doses delivered to 112 countries.

“Four hundred million doses shipped for free with no strings attached,” Zients said.

Washington has pledged 1.1 billion shots to the rest of the world — more than any other country — and has already sent vaccines to countries ranging from Guatemala to Papua New Guinea.

The US shots often cross paths with shipments from China and Russia in what has been dubbed “vaccine diplomacy,” although the US official insisted “we are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions.”

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According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, just 4.36 percent of Uganda’s population is fully vaccinated.

Uganda ended the world’s longest school closure earlier this month, ordering millions of students back to the classroom nearly two years after learning was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The country of some 45 million people recorded 160,778 Covid-19 cases, with 3,497 deaths, according to latest figures from Johns Hopkins.

Thousands Protest In Sweden Against Vaccine Pass

Anti-vaccine protesters take part in a demonstration under the motto "For a free Sweden without vaccine pass" in Stockholm, on January 22, 2022. Fredrik PERSSON / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP
Anti-vaccine protesters take part in a demonstration under the motto “For a free Sweden without vaccine pass” in Stockholm, on January 22, 2022. Fredrik PERSSON / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP

 

Thousands of protesters demonstrated in Sweden’s two biggest cities on Saturday against the use of vaccine passes, in marches that unfolded calmly after police had warned of possible clashes.

Security police Sapo had expressed concern that neo-Nazi groups and opponents could face off at the demonstration in Stockholm.

Around 9,000 people marched through the streets of the capital Stockholm to the Sergels Torg square chanting “No to Vaccine Passes, Yes to Freedom”, in a protest organised by a group calling itself the Freedom Movement.

One of the marchers, 30-year-old Julia Johansson, said vaccine passes “discriminate against a lot of people”.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Cases ‘Drop Significantly’ In Africa, Says WHO

“We have to be able to decide ourselves what we want to do with our own bodies,” she told AFP.

Aida Begovic, 35, agreed, saying they “force people to get medical procedures they don’t want.”

“No matter how much you say (vaccination) isn’t a requirement, it is if you lose rights in society over it.”

The Scandinavian country introduced vaccine passes on December 1.

They have been mandatory since January 12 for indoor events of more than 50 people, as the country battles an unprecedented surge of infections with around 40,000 cases reported per day in the past week.

More than 83 percent of Swedes over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.

Some of the demonstrators wore the markings of violent extremist groups such as the neo-Nazi group NMR, and covered their faces to prevent identification.

Some also set off red flares that lit the sky a smoky red, but police said no clashes were reported.

A number of vaccination centres in the city had closed early on Saturday as a precaution.

In Sweden’s second-biggest city Gothenburg, another demonstration gathered around 1,500 people.

Sweden made headlines in the early days of the pandemic when it, unlike most other countries, did not introduce any form of lockdown or school closures.

Instead, it adopted a softer approach, recommending social distancing, homeworking and only limited use of facemasks.

It did however ban visits to elderly care homes, limit public gatherings and restrict opening hours at bars and restaurants.

Sweden’s death toll — around 15,600 of the 10.3 million population — is around the European average, but is significantly higher than in neighbouring Norway, Finland, and Denmark.

 

AFP

UPDATED: Greece Donates J&J COVID-19 Vaccines To Nigeria

 

Greece has donated about one million doses of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria as the Federal Government moves to ensure more citizens are vaccinated against the disease.

A delegation from the European country led by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikolaos Dendias, announced the donation of the vaccines in Abuja on Monday.

Dendias made the announcement at a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and other Nigerian government officials.

He said Nigeria and Greece have enjoyed a favourable bond over the years and that his country was even willing to expand the relationship.

READ ALSO: NCDC Alerts States As Lassa Fever Death Toll Hits 102

The Greek minister explained that such an expansion would culminate in the signing of Memoranda of Understanding on various issues affecting both countries.

Onyeama, on his part, said Nigeria has enjoyed a smooth partnership with Greece in the area of defence.

He said the present administration was willing to expand its partnership with Greece, especially in the areas of agriculture and infrastructure.

In this photo taken on January 10, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and Greece Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikolaos Dendias, sign some documents as the European country donates about one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria.

 

Meanwhile, six more people have died of complications related to COVID-19 with 537 additional cases confirmed.

The new infections were reported in seven states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

They include Rivers – 313, Lagos – 178, FCT – 19, Kaduna – 11, Gombe – six, Ogun – six, Ekiti – three, and Abia – one.

Following the new infections reported, Nigeria has now confirmed a total of 248,312 since it reported its first case in February 2020.

Of the cases confirmed, 218,997 people who initially tested positive have been discharged and 3,077 deaths have been recorded in all 36 states and the FCT.

While the NCDC said it has collected and tested a total of 3,863,081 samples, the country has 26,238 COVID-19 cases that are still active.

PHOTOS: President Buhari Receives COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot

President Buhari receives his Covid-19 Booster Dose at the State House in Abuja on December 21, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House
President Buhari receives his Covid-19 Booster Dose at the State House in Abuja on December 21, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday received a COVID-19 booster shot at the State House in Abuja.

The Federal Government had commenced the administration of booster shots earlier this month as steps to halt the spread of Omicron, a relatively new variant of the COVID-19 virus.

“Following the detection of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Federal Government reviewed the country’s vaccination programme and resolved to introduce the booster dose using the Pfizer Bio-N-Tech vaccine across the country,” the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said at the time of the commencement.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Now In Fourth COVID-19 Wave – NCDC

Persons eligible for the booster dose must be 18 years and above, fully vaccinated with either two doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna, or Pfizer Bio-N-Tech or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The time interval before the booster dose is at least six months for these vaccines, except the Johnson and Johnson which is at least two months.

President Buhari receives his Covid-19 Booster Dose at the State House in Abuja on December 21, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House

 

President Buhari receives his Covid-19 Booster Dose at the State House in Abuja on December 21, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House

President Buhari receives his Covid-19 Booster Dose at the State House in Abuja on December 21, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House

WHO Lists Ninth COVID-19 Vaccine For Emergency Use

This file photo taken on April 20, 2021 shows an empty vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine among empty vials of different other vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) and AstraZeneca at the vaccination center in Rosenheim, southern Germany, amid the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.  Christof STACHE / AFP

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday issued an emergency use listing (EUL) for NVX-CoV2373, expanding the basket of WHO-validated vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The vaccine, named CovovaxTM, is produced by the Serum Institute of India under licence from Novavax and is part of the COVAX facility portfolio, giving a much-needed boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate more people in lower-income countries.

WHO’s EUL procedure assesses the quality, safety, and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and is a prerequisite for COVAX vaccine supply. It also allows countries to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

READ ALSO: Again, Nigeria’s Daily COVID-19 Infections Exceed 1,000

“Even with new variants emerging, vaccines remain one of the most effective tools to protect people against serious illness and death from SARS-COV-2,” said Dr. Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Medicines and Health Products. ‘This listing aims to increase access particularly in lower-income countries, 41 of which have still not been able to vaccinate 10% of their populations, while 98 countries have not reached 40%.”

CovovaxTM was assessed under the WHO EUL procedure based on the review of data on quality, safety, and efficacy, a risk management plan, programmatic suitability, and manufacturing site inspections carried out by the Drugs Controller General of India.

The Technical Advisory Group for Emergency Use Listing (TAG-EUL), convened by WHO and made up of experts from around the world, has determined that the vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against COVID-19, that the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs any risks, and that the vaccine can be used globally.

CovovaxTM is a subunit of the vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). It requires two doses and is stable at 2 to 8 °C refrigerated temperatures. The vaccine uses a novel platform and is produced by creating an engineered baculovirus containing a gene for a modified SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

The originator product produced by Novavax, named NuvaxovidTM, is currently under assessment by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). WHO will complete its own assessment of this vaccine once the EMA has issued its recommendation.

A meeting of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) this week also reviewed the vaccine. SAGE formulates specific policies and recommendations for vaccines’ use in populations (i.e. recommended age groups, intervals between doses, specific groups such as pregnant and lactating women) and will issue recommendations for NuvaxovidTM/CovovaxTM in the coming days.

WHO emergency use listing

The emergency use listing (EUL) procedure assesses the suitability of novel health products during public health emergencies. The objective is to make medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics available as rapidly as possible to address the emergency while adhering to stringent criteria of safety, efficacy, and quality.

According to the WHO, the assessment weighs the threat posed by the emergency as well as the benefit that would accrue from the use of the product against any potential risks.

The EUL pathway involves a rigorous assessment of late phase II and phase III clinical trial data, as well as substantial additional data on safety, efficacy, quality, and a risk management plan.

These data are reviewed by independent experts and WHO teams who consider the current body of evidence on the vaccine under consideration, the plans for monitoring its use, and plans for further studies.

As part of the EUL process, the company producing the vaccine must commit to continue to generate data to enable full licensure and WHO prequalification of the vaccine.

The WHO prequalification process will assess additional clinical data generated from vaccine trials and deployment on a rolling basis to ensure the vaccine meets the necessary standards of quality, safety, and efficacy for broader availability.

Iraq Gets 1.2 Million Doses Of Pfizer COVID Vaccine

File photo of the outside view of the quarantine zone at an hospital in the central Iraqi holy shrine city of Najaf where the first case of COVID-19 documented in Iraq is being treated. PHOTO: Haidar HAMDANI / AFP

 

Iraq said Saturday it has received 1.2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine through the Covax sharing scheme, amid fears of a fourth wave in the country.

Nearly seven million Iraqis have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, amounting to 17.5 percent of the country’s 40 million population, based on government figures.

Plagued by years of conflict, corruption, and neglect, Iraq’s health system has struggled to cope with the pandemic.

The health ministry announced on Saturday the arrival of a shipment of more than 1.2 million doses of “Pfizer’s anti-Covid vaccine through the Covax programme and UNICEF”, the UN Children’s Fund.

“Iraq is still facing danger from the coronavirus pandemic,” ministry spokesman Saif al-Badr said on Thursday.

“We expect to enter a fourth wave, (and) it could be a new variant,” he told state television.

READ ALSO: Uruguay Sack Tabarez After Record-Breaking 15-Year Stint

More than two million Iraqis have been infected with Covid and 23,628 have died in Iraq since the outbreak of the pandemic, according to official figures.

Despite an increase in the number of people getting jabbed, Iraq’s government has been unable to overcome general scepticism about vaccines and measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

There is a high level of public mistrust of institutions in Iraq amid the circulation of misleading information about the pandemic.

Covax was set up to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, particularly to low-income countries, and has already delivered more than 80 million doses to 129 territories.

AFP

Enhancing Capacity For Local Vaccine Production Crucial For Africa, Says Osinbajo

File photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has called on stakeholders in Africa to begin to develop the required collaborations to enhance the capacity for local production of vaccines.

Osinbajo said the local COVID-19 vaccine production is crucial to Africa for it to meet up with its counterparts around the world and for Africa to attain the high level of post-COVID-19 recovery recorded in more developed economies,

He said this while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting on Wednesday.

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­­­­ “Without vaccination of a huge number of its people, Africa remains at continued risk of socio-economic stagnation, because continuing infections including from new variants, will prevent full recovery.

“There is evidence that the economic rebound in other parts of the world is positively related to the extent of vaccinations that they have undertaken,” he said.

The President also appreciated the vaccines that have come to Africa through the COVAX Initiative and other bilateral donations, noting however that there remains much more to be done.

“We must ensure that while we are at it, we must develop the collaborations to be able to produce vaccines within Africa itself.”

Speaking further, he noted that “to be sure, we need resources that will help increase the scale and pace of vaccinations against COVID-19 in Africa. The high and upper-middle-income countries have achieved vaccination rates of over 80%, while very few African countries have reached the 5% level of vaccination.”

On the issue of Climate Change, the President said “it is another area in which global development is impacting Africa, and in which we need a unified response.

“It is particularly important for Africa Commonwealth governments to pay attention to this matter. In any event, the protection of the environment is a matter of core concern for the Commonwealth.

“The issue of climate change poses a number of dilemmas for African countries, and we must strive to find the right balance in shaping our responses.”

In this regard, President Buhari said “the international community must meet its pledges to Africa and the developing world in terms of financing and technology, to support mitigation and adaptation to climate change.”

“The $100billion a year pledged by the wealthier economies to help developing economies respond to the challenges of climate change has never been met.

“Such investments will help our economies to invest in renewable energies and undertake climate-friendly agricultural practices, and green urban transportation.”

The President added that “given this situation, it is fair that as African policymakers and legislators we are compelled to respond through policies that drive growth, create jobs, and improve livelihoods, and that pays special attention to the needs of women and girls.”

Shortly after the event of Commonwealth Parliamentarians, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo attended the closing session of the 2021 Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON).

Speaking on the theme of the conference “Quit you like Men”, Osinbajo said just as societies elsewhere were transformed by a generation of believers, Nigeria’s fortunes will be turned around for the better by the present generation.

According to the Vice President, “every generation of believers has the capacity to transform their societies, by the grace and mercies of God, we will transform ours too.”

Osinbajo urged Christians “to be strong, steadfast and courageous in the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ”, regardless of the challenges.

Lagos Outlines Mass COVID-19 Vaccination Plans

FILE PHOTO: Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr Shuaib Faisal COVID-19 vaccine exercise in Lagos State.

 

The Lagos State Government says a robust vaccination strategy has been established to ensure four million residents of the state are fully vaccinated before the end of December 2021.

The state Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday explained that the mass vaccination is important to prevent a fourth wave of the deadly Coronavirus in the state.

“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 the 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.

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“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 Babajide Sanwo-Olu alongside the 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,” the statement read in part.

The Commissioner said once this is achieved, it will bring the State closer to the state governor’s 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 (WHO) 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,” Abayomi added.

He stressed that a partnership between public and private companies is essential to achieve the goal.

Abayomi said 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 deployed for escalating 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 the 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.”

The Commissioner said 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 cover 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.”

He said no one is compelled to receive their vaccines at any private facility as the vaccines in both are of the same quality and brand.

“The decision to leverage 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 the 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,” he added.

Those that require their vaccination at any of the public facilities should visit the national platform at https://publicreg.vaccination.gov.ng to register and schedule their vaccination or register on arrival at any of the 206 public sites.

Those requiring vaccination at any selected private facilities should please, in addition, visit https://lagosvaccine.com to book and pay for their vaccination, either before or after registering on the national platform.

COVID-19 Vaccine: Lagos Introduces ‘N6,000’ Administrative Charge For Private Facilities

In this photo taken on August 16, 2021, a health official holds a vaccine tube and a syringe as Nigeria commences the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.
In this photo taken on August 16, 2021, a health official holds a vaccine tube and a syringe as Nigeria commences the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Lagosians who wish to take the Covid-19 vaccine at a private facility will have to pay N6,000 as an administrative charge.

The vaccine remains free at public facilities.

The Lagos state government made this known on Wednesday in a press briefing signed by Gboyega Akosile, a spokesman to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The statement noted that the decision to extend the vaccination drive to private facilities was part of efforts to encourage more people to receive the jab.

“Sanwo-Olu re-emphasised that the vaccines being administered are safe and remain free of charge in public health facilities,” the statement said.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Records 166 New COVID-19 Cases, Two Deaths

“The Governor, however, said an administrative charge of N6,000 would be paid by individuals who wish to get the vaccines at approved private facilities.”

The Governor had on Wednesday warned that a fourth wave of the virus was possible as travellers from across the world enter the city for the December festivities, prompting the state government to launch a mass vaccination campaign.

The accelerated vaccine rollout is tagged: “Operation Count Me in 4 Million Lagosians Vaccinated Against COVID-19” and it is being undertaken by Lagos State Government in collaboration with Federal Government’s National Primary Health Care Development.

Since March, at least 1.2 million persons have received one shot of the vaccine, while 550,000 have been fully vaccinated in Lagos, according to state figures.