As Nigeria begin to roll out the COVID-19 Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine (COVAX), the Presidential Task Force (PTF) must ensure an equitable distribution. It is commendable that leaders are openly receiving their jabs to encourage people and douse the tension, myths and fake news about the vaccine. However, the government must specifically target young people, the elderly, women and people living with disabilities in its distribution effort.
To achieve this, we advise:
Collaboration with Civil Societies: several Civil Society Organisations are working with People Living with Disabilities, women, youths and the Elderly. These organisations should be targeted and consulted in getting COVAX to these vulnerable groups.
Provide Specific spots for receiving COVAX: vulnerable people should be provided with specific locations residual for them to receive the COVAX. These locations should be accessible and available to them with limited protocols and undue bureaucratic procedures.
Transparency and Accountability: The distribution of COVAX and the logistics should be made available and accessible. Government should publish its expenses and related activities and respond to requests from journalists and civil society organisations.
Create endearing awareness: awareness should be targeted at encouraging young people and vulnerable groups. Government should leverage all media platform to reach out to young people and vulnerable groups to take COVAX.
COVID-19 has killed over 2000 people in Nigeria while over 169000 people have contracted the virus. Though the elderly has been the most affected by the novel virus, many young and vulnerable people have contracted it.
Therefore, limiting the curve of the spread is very essential and everyone must contribute towards this. We encourage young people, women and people living with disabilities to show interest in receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine while government make effort to ensure access without undue stress.
Co-Founder KnowCovid-19 NG
Executive Director, Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative