Concerns mount as Lagosians struggle to get COVID-19 vaccine

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Lagosians who are yet to get COVID-19 vaccines are expressing concerns over the increasing bottlenecks they are made to navigate at various centres.

The growing concerns followed moves by some organisations to make vaccination mandatory for their employees.x

The Guardian investigation revealed that uneducated Nigerians, especially aged men and women are unable to get access to the vaccine despite showing up at health centres.

Some of the reasons these men and women are not getting vaccinated vary from not having a phone that can access the internet to the inability to operate a smartphone.

During a visit to one of the centres, where the reporter had gone for his COVID-19 jab, the nurse in charge said they had to turn many aged people back because they didn’t register before visiting the centre.x

“We are also being careful not to be accused of extortion in case we ask them money for data to enable us to assist them. I also spend my money to buy data and there is no way we can attend to them unless they register for the vaccine.

Also, The Guardian discovered it is difficult for many people to get vaccinated during afternoon sessions because health officials are quick to leave for their homes.

Narrating his ordeal, Segun Adeosun said, he registered for the morning session and came to the health centre by 11:00 a.m., only to be told by health officials at the centre that they have taken enough for the day.

According to him, his friend, who registered for the afternoon session the same day was not also attended to.

Another resident, Emeka Solomon, said he was also turned back from a health centre even though he was right on time.

He said: “There are shenanigans going on at Ailegun Primary Healthcare Centre, in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, one of the centres for Covid-19 Vaccination.https://3e59c3aa38fc8e2f6f35e06b0d7b12ad.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlxhttps://3e59c3aa38fc8e2f6f35e06b0d7b12ad.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

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“After duly booking online on Friday for the afternoon session, I got there only to be told the nurses had left in the morning. According to staff, the nurses who come to vaccinate only show up in the morning hours, and we were told to call back on Monday.

“We checked out the centre at Ejigbo, which indicated the afternoon session was still possible. So we rushed there, only for the sentry to report that the nurses only work in the morning hours.

Yet, the online booking suggests they are also to work in the afternoon shift.

“So we booked again and we got to the centre since 10:00 a.m. and I learnt some people got there since 7:00 a.m. The people sat there all through and no message by anyone on why the process had not started.

“A nurse only came to address the crowd after the protest, she told us she was ready to work, but no Vaccine had been delivered. According to her, only one ambulance is allotted to distribute vaccines daily covering Oshodi, Ejigbo, Ikotun and Ailegun areas. And the ambulance usually delivers to Ailegun Health Centre last, because of the bad road.

“Now, isn’t this enough to discourage anyone who genuinely desires to be vaccinated? Yet, various governments are threatening workers with sanctions for not getting vaccinated as if they have enough to go around.

“I think, this should be investigated further and brought to the attention of the Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state health authorities, and as well the relevant Covid-19 vaccine management authorities.”

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