By Nelson Ekujumi
A visit was conducted round some of the COVID-19 vaccination centres in Agege local government of Lagos State as part of the monitoring efforts of Lagos State Civil Society Coalition Against COVID-19 under the coordination of the Centre for 21st Century.
The monitoring which was conducted between 22nd – 31st March, 2021 across these centres, was aimed at assessing the level of activities concerning the vaccination exercise.
It was observed that at the initial stage of the exercise, some centres were devoid of the usual crowd coming out to get the first dose expected to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as the days went by, perhaps due to the continuous education and enlightenment of the citizenry through the media and other outlets, the accredited persons outlined for the phase one process thronged the vaccination centres in good numbers.
A visit to Powerline Primary Health Center (PHC) and Keke Primary Health Center (PHC) respectively, in Agege local government of Lagos State, it was observed that there was a waiting crowd of residents made up majorly of elderly citizens and frontline workers who were the major target of the first phase turning up as early as 6am to be on the queue to be vaccinated.
Prompt observation and further interrogations showed the ratio of women to men was about 50 percent each and although there were more women at the centre as time went on.
All those who turned up for the vaccination exercise were registered manually before the online registration process.
However, there were few technical hitches and inquiries revealed that the online registration system suffered hiccups and was not used.
Before the commencement of the vaccination process at the centres visited, the beneficiaries present were addressed in English and Yoruba languages before approaching the various port of call at the vaccination site based on the tally numbers given to them according to their various time of arrivals.
The process for administering the vaccine though seamless in most centres, lasted for about 8-10 minutes for a person due to the presence of only one health officer who spent a greater time of about 6-7 minutes for a patient recording details.
Also, the person administering the vaccine took just about 2 minutes because the patients were asked some questions such as have you eaten? and then inform them of the date for the second dose which is also written on the card before administering the vaccine.
After the vaccination of a patient, he or she is sent to a waiting section to be observed for about 15 minutes for any reaction and patients promptly adhere to it.
The challenges observed at some of the vaccination centres shows the need to speed up the vaccination process through the deployment of more health officers in charge of recording details to speed up the process and to allow for quick administration of the vaccine to many residents, as this would go a long way to increase the number of vaccinated persons daily.
Laudably, further findings showed the vaccines were given to people in an orderly and transparent manner, no beneficiary was asked to pay any amount of money for it and no beneficiary complained or reported being asked to pay.