– As pharmacists alleged exclusion from list
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Monday launched a portal for the e-registration of Nigerians for the COVID-19 vaccination, ahead of vaccine arrival in less than 24 hours.
This is even as some pharmacists have alleged the omission of pharmacists from the lists of healthcare workers to benefit from the first phase of vaccination.
In a statement announcing the introduction of the portal, Chief Executive Officer, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib explained the objective of the platform is to make registration for COVID-19 vaccination easy for citizens.
While inviting citizens to website the Agency’s website to access the e-registration portal, he said Nigerians can choose a health facility that is closest to them to get vaccinated.
Explaining the various phases of the vaccination, he noted that the first phase of the vaccination, will prioritised healthcare workers, frontline workers — (the Military, Police, Oil and Gas workers, Nigerians at the Border Posts), strategic leaders and vulnerables.
“Please visit our website http://nphcda.gov.ng and click on ‘COVID-19 Vaccination e-registration’ to register for #COVID19 vaccination”, he urged Nigerians.
In a series of tweets via the Agency’s verified Twitter handle @NphcdaNG, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire reiterated the expected arrival of 3.92 million vaccines in less than 24 hours in the country.
Ehanire who hinted that officials of Customs and NAFDAC are on the look out for unauthenticated vaccines, noted that any vaccine that is not approved by NAFDAC will be confiscated.21.
“In less than 24 hours, the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive in Nigeria from the COVAX Facility & will be deployed to vaccinate, first our critical frontline healthcare workers, who are providing essential care.
“Vaccines that are not approved by NAFDAC will be determined as dangerous, and will be seized by Customs Services and NAFDAC, who are on high alert for illegal vaccine importation.
“No private hospital or organisation has experience with handling this type of vaccine and certainly no experience in vaccine application that NPHCDA has.
“The introduction of the electronic management of immunisation data is critical to addressing challenges with integrity and quality data and ultimately, primary healthcare data”, he stated.
Earlier in the day, some pharmacists on Twitter have queried the omission of pharmacists from the list of frontline healthcare workers to benefit from the first phase of the vaccination.
@Swankpharm was the first to raise the concern tweeting thus: “Dear @NphcdaNG kindly confirm if pharmacists as frontline healthcare providers were omitted knowingly or unknowingly from the list of healthcare providers scheduled to register for the #COVID19 vaccine?”.
Reacting to the development, Pharm. Isa Muhammad with his Twitter handle @isacisse said:” It’s deliberate and must be amended”.
In its response to the pharmacists questions on omission, the NPHCDA through one of its officials with the Twitter handle @chibuezze acknowledged the pharmacists’ place in the healthcare system, stating that the omission has been rectified.
His tweet reads:” You’d agree with me that pharmacists have been very integral in this fight to not just be classifed as just “Health Worker”.
“It’s been updated nonetheless. There’s an option for pharmacists now!”.