FG Unveils SCALES 3.0 Strategy for effective Covid-19 Vaccination
By Linda Ike
The Federal Government has unveiled a new health strategy to effectively combat the spread of COVID-19.
The new measure called SCALES 3.0 Strategy for Covid-19 Vaccination will essentially accelerate integrated COVID-19 vaccination and address implementation gaps in ramping up coverage in Nigeria.
The SCALES 3.0 strategy campaign is service delivery designed to take vaccine to people’s door steps especially their homes and offices.
It 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.
Speaking at the lunch of the SCALES 3.0, Monday in Abuja, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said the SCALES 3.0 strategy will address the identified implementation gaps in SCALES 2.0 and bring about more accountability for performance, strengthen electronic data reporting and promote robust demand generation at the community levels.
Mustapha said there is a significant decline in death arising from Covid-19 as a result of the ongoing vaccination, emphasising that people should not lower their guards or give in complacency hence the virus still lives with us.
“Nigeria has continued to experience changes in the factors that influence demand and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines. These changing situations are not uniform across the country. They vary from state to state, and therefore require continuous review of our strategies for promoting demand and ensuring vaccine access and accountability”
“Earlier in February 2022, we launch optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy, which though has proven to be effective in ramping up COVID 19 vaccination coverage, the proportion of fully vaccinated Nigerians is still low when compared to the set target. The present record of only 24.4% of the total eligible population of fully vaccinated as at August 3 2022 leaves much to be desired.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire noted that the campaign can only succeed if there is mass mobilization of the people.
“We are therefore calling on state governors, local government chairmen, traditional and religious leaders, the media, and every Nigerian to lend their support in mobilizing the unvaccinated eligible individuals to register and get vaccinated or walk into the nearest vaccination centres and get vaccinated” he stressed.
According to him, the federal government remains committed to the provision of safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines in the country backed with accountability and transparency.
“Every COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria is tagged and tracked by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure quality and potency are maintained across the supply chain”, he said.
Speaking on on COVID-19 vaccination performance level, Ehanire, said only 3 states, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Kano, have vaccination coverage of 50 percent, 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
He explained that termed SCALES 3.0, the strategy will be anchored on an intensive 3 months campaign, performance-based incentives, optimized integrated package of services, decentralized and incentivized demand generation strategies, partners coordination and accountability, and state-specific context and strategies.
“Based on these principles, the strategy is poised to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus and gain the desired herd immunity as quickly as possible.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said since the flagged off of optimized SCALES 2.0 in February this year to ramp-up integrated COVID-19 vaccination and PHC services, national vaccination coverage progressed from about 17 million to 40 million as at 8th August 2022 for the first dose, with the figures representing over a 100% increase in coverage during the first phase.
He explained that the 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.
“On the service delivery, SCALES 3.0 will operate on focused campaign mode with mobile and special teams taking vaccines to where people live and work. This will address the operational issues with the fixed posts, temporary fixed posts and mass vaccination sites that were observed in SCALES 2.0.