The Lagos State Government has just enrolled 135 private health facilities for mass vaccination strategy targeted at vaccinating 4 million residents by December, 2021 bringing the total number of vaccination sites in the state to 360.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that the 360 vaccination sites, comprising the 135 private health facilities and 225 existing public vaccination sites have been earmarked for the mass vaccination campaign.
While noting that more private facilities would be added to the list, Abayomi said the enrolled private facilities were engaged after a rigorous selection and accreditation process that hinges on quality assurance, vaccine safety and follow-up care.
He added that the list of accredited private and public facilities is available on the website of NPHCDA and official communication channels of the Lagos State Government.
According to him, the state government decided to partner with the private sector to rapidly ramp up COVID-19 vaccination in order to achieve herd immunity.
He noted that government decided to leverage on both the strengths of the public and private sectors of the 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 spread of the COVID-19 virus and prevent the re-emergence of the catastrophes witnessed during the previous waves of the pandemic.
He said: “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 recognising 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.”
Abayomi added that the state alone, through the primary healthcare board, does not have the capacity to ramp up vaccination to a massive level in such a short time and before the deadline without partnering with the private sector.