Lagos Governor, Mr Babajinde Sanwo-Olu has approved the sum of N6,000 for the administration of vaccines against Covid-19 infection at private health facilities in the state.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said this, while declaring open the state’s mass vaccination campaign, expressing the government’s desire to have a minimum of 4 million residents vaccinated by December 25.
“This is to allow the private sector to recoup the resources they have deployed in the process of administering this vaccine,” the governor said.
The vaccines to be administered by the approved 400 private health facilities alongside the public centres are the same that have been sourced by the Federal Government through donations and various other means.
This treatment for the pandemic now costs a minimum of N350,000 per day at the state-owned cardiac and renal centre, which is located inside the general hospital, Gbagada.
Findings from the centre show that a patient may spend 14 days before being certified fit to be discharged from the facility.
However, government officials have defended the decisions, saying they are all aimed at carrying those they described as ‘big men’ along in the efforts to address the biting consequences of the pandemic.
Both the state’s commissioner for information and the chief press secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Gbenga Omotoso and Gboyega Akosile respectively, accused many ‘Lagosian elite’ of seeking exclusivity, and that no matter how cheap a public item is, they would prefer those offered by private companies.
The governor disclosed that the state and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) will be partnering private sector in the mass vaccination campaign, stressing that the decision stemmed from the huge successes he said was recorded in various strategies that have been deployed in the management of the pandemic in partnership with the private sector.
Sanwo-Olu noted that whilst the administration of the COVID vaccines remains free in public health facilities, an administrative cost will apply to residents who choose to receive the vaccine at approved private facilities of their choice.
“Leveraging on private health facilities and corporate institutions as additional sites for the COVID-19 vaccination, it is our hope that we increase the reach and access to the available vaccines provided through the generous contributions and donations by the Federal Government and our donors. By doing this, we are once again recognising the impact of the collaboration between the public and private sector for healthcare and strengthening the link for far-reaching initiatives in the state.
“At this point, it is imperative to emphasise that the vaccines administered in our public facilities would remain free to the public. However, whilst the vaccines remain free as they were contributed to us by the Federal Government through the NPHCDA and our donors, a charge of N6,000 has been approved for relevant stakeholders in the administration of the vaccines in the private sector.
“This is to allow the private sector to recoup the resources they have deployed in the process of administering this vaccine. We encourage all Lagos residents to visit our listed public facilities to receive this vaccine at no cost to them; however, those that wish to receive them in the comforts of a private facility can do so at this administrative cost,” the governor said.
He added that the state will set up COVID-19 vaccination fixed posts across 205 public primary health centres, 14 secondary and tertiary hospitals, and 400 private health centres across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas.
“At the core of this campaign, we aim to strengthen vaccine equity to ensure that every resident of Lagos State has a fair and equal chance to fully access the vaccine regardless of who they are or where they are from which is key to seeing the unbearable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.
He enjoined residents particularly political, traditional, religious and community leaders to mobilise support for the campaign in order to ensure a successful outcome.