Tayo Busayo



DAILY COURIER – Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said that only three states out of the 36 states and the Federation Capital Territory (FCT) have vaccination coverage of over 50 per cent.

He said the states are Nasarawa, Jigawa and Kano, leaving 33 states and the FCT performing sub-optimally.

The minister stated this yesterday at the flag-off of the SCALES 3.0 Strategy, aimed at accelerating the integrated COVID-19 vaccination scheme with routine immunisation in Abuja.

He said, “As you might be aware, the federal government has through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) deployed several strategies including the optimised SCALES 2.0 strategy to ramp up integrated COVID-19 vaccination and Primary Health Care services across the country. Consequently, our vaccination effort has scaled up significantly.

“However, the total performance still leaves much to be desired. As of 3rd August 2022, only 24.4 per cent of the total eligible population have been fully vaccinated. Only three states (Nasarawa, Jigawa and Kano) have vaccination coverage of over 50 per cent, 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.”

The executive director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said with the optimised SCALES 2.0 strategy, the country’s national vaccination coverage progressed from about 17 million to 40 million as at 8th August 2022 for the first dose, representing over a 100 per cent increase in coverage during the first phase.

However, he said although the progress recorded with optimised SCALES 2.0 implementation is appreciable, there has also been an increased low COVID-19 risk perception which needs to be overcome.

Shuaib added that disaggregated states performance analyses also revealed that there are important state-specific bottlenecks that must be addressed in their various contexts for the country to see improved vaccine uptake.

“It is for these reasons, among others, that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health through the NPHCDA has come up with SCALES 3.0, which we are here to officially flag off. 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.

“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,” he said.