Virologist, NMA back Lagos N6,000 vaccination administrative charges

The Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association has backed the state government in its bid to allow private hospitals to administer COVID-19 vaccine on residents.

The PUNCH reported that the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the unveiling of a campaign, tagged, ‘Count me in: Four million Lagosians vaccinated against COVID-19,’ said vaccination remained free in government facilities but those who wished to get vaccinated in private hospitals would pay an administrative charge of N6,000.

The governor noted that the move would allow more Lagosians to get vaccinated, thereby preventing the state from sliding into the fourth wave.

A Professor of Virology, Oyewale Tomori, in an interview with our correspondent on Tuesday, said some Nigerians may not mind paying the N6,000 administrative charges.

He added that the government had provided individuals with choices on where to get vaccinated with the introduction of private consortium in the vaccination exercise.

“It is opening more outlets for people to get vaccinated. The truth is, for many reasons, constraints of time and convenience, many people will not go to the public vaccination centers where service is free. There are those who because they want to save time, and get better service will prefer to pay extra for service.

“The N6,000 administrative charge at the private health facility is not for the vaccine, but for the service. The vaccine remains free, and one is free to get the free vaccine either at the private facility and pay for the extra services or get it at the public health facility without all those additional services. It is a matter of choice,” Tomori said.

Also, the Secretary of Lagos NMA, Dr Ime Okon, said, Public-Private Partnership was the way to achieve COVID-19 herd immunity.

She said, “As we are very well aware, Lagos State, as the epicentre of the most populous African Country, Nigeria, in the COVID-19 pandemic has borne the greatest brunt of the effects of the coronavirus in the country.

“We have been through all the waves and the state government is trying to mitigate the fourth wave by instituting this strategy tagged, ‘Count me In: 4 Million Lagosians Vaccinated against COVID-19,’ with a timeline of December 2021.

“Public-Private Partnership is a sure way that has been tested and tried for many health interventions and it worked and I have no doubts that it is also a way to go this time, to reach as many as possible.

“As much as the private facilities are now being empowered for a wider reach, the public health facilities are still very much open, accessible and offering these vaccinations free of charge.”

SOURCE: THE PUNCH

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