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COVID-19 Vaccination Process: A Lagosian's Account

COVID-19 Vaccination Process: A Lagosian's Account

A cross section of people waiting for the replenishment of vaccine at the Meiran Primary Healthcare Center

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AUTHOR >
Bolanle Akinlade

I am a diligent, innovative, and detail-oriented individual, who thrives in dynamic environments.

Just like other processes that require people to gather for a particular registration or exercise, the COVID-19 vaccination procedure in Nigeria is far from smooth.

Regardless of several conspiracy theories making waves about the Covid-19 vaccine, some Nigerians are trooping out to get vaccinated against the deadly virus that has claimed millions of lives.

Meiran PHCAs of September 22, 2021, about 2.2 percent of Nigerians have been partially vaccinated while only 0.9 percent have been fully vaccinated according to Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

While 203,081 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, 191,601 cases have been discharged with 2,666 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as of September 23, 2021.

NCDC also revealed that only 2,997,060 million samples have so far been tested from Nigeria's roughly 200 million population.

A cross section of people waiting for Covid-19 vaccination at Meiran Primary Health CentreAn AllNews Media Staff, Adedayo Aruleba gave a personal account of his frustating experience at the Primary Health Centre, Merian, Agbado Ijaiye, Lagos. 

Aruleba stated that he arrived at the Health Centre for COVID-19 vaccination around past 7 am on September 22, 2021.

According to him, those present were allotted numbers from one to over one hundred. After the allocation was concluded, it was gathered that those who did not register on the official registration portal were also counted to be vaccinated for the day.

The numbers were given according to the arrival time of each person so that they can all be attended to on a first come, first serve basis.

During the vaccination exercise, it was discovered that the vaccines available at the time could only cater for about 40 people.

"This discovery was made around 1:30 pm and you know people have been waiting patiently for their turn since morning," he narrated.

"It was gathered that the vaccines available for the day were the leftover from last Friday and yet, they counted over hundred people to be vaccinated for the day.

"I learnt that Mondays and Tuesdays have been designated for only children's vaccination at the centre."

Usually, the vaccine distribution process is not straightforward because the distribution starts from the Federal Government to the states and then the local governments.

Aruleba made it known that the personnel who were administrating the vaccine had to encourage those waiting to be vaccinated to be patient for the arrival of a new batch.

He explained further: "They kept giving us hope, telling us to wait.

"The vaccine card also got exhausted along the way.

"Emotions were high and people who have waited since morning were vexed.

"Hours later, more vaccines arrived shortly before 4 pm.

"It was with this second batch that I got my jab,"

Aruleba works 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays. Unfortunately, he wasted a good part of his workday, queuing to be vaccinated. He had to get his jab on a weekday because there is no weekend option.

Unfortunately, occurrences like these, remain the order of the day in Nigeria.

Unorganized processes like the above discourages many Nigerians from getting what they need for a better life.

Until recently, the formalities involved in acquiring the Voters Registration Card was typically manual.

The stress of obtaining a National Identification Number (NIN) was also quite discouraging until private organisations were allowed to partake for a fee, to ease the process.

Adedayo Aruleba's experience can easily be avoided if online vaccination registration can be strictly adhered to. 

People can schedule online appointments at their convenience to avoid congestion and frustration.

Furthermore, the three tiers of government need to work hand-in-hand to ensure that the communication gap is bridged as regards vaccine distribution if citizens are to be encouraged to get vaccinated.

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