COVID-19: Nigeria receives over four million doses of vaccines from US

Gloria Essien

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The Nigerian government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), inspected and received four million and eighty doses (4,000,080) of Moderna vaccines doses donated by the United State of America.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said at the National Strategic Cold Store, in Abuja, that an effective cold chain management of any COVID-19 vaccine was key to ensuring the success of the national vaccination programme

“The vaccines would assist in stepping up efforts to battle a third wave of COVID-19 infections.

“The donation was part of President Joe Biden’s promise to give 500 million vaccines to the world by the end of 2022.”

He noted that Nigeria has storage facilities that could store COVID-19 vaccines, including the Moderna vaccine.

Dr. Shuiab disclosed that, the Nigeria Government had earlier acquired an additional 60 ultra cold freezers that would accommodate both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

He further said the store has a combined capacity of 2100 litres and operates at a temperature of -85°C.

“The Moderna vaccine was expected to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for 30 days. Shipping and long-term storage conditions are at standard freezer temperatures of -20°C (-4°F) for six months while mRNA-1273 to be distributed using widely available vaccine delivery and storage infrastructure.
“Once the vaccine is removed from the refrigerator for administration, it can be kept at room temperature conditions for up to 12 hours,”  Dr. Shuaib said.

The NPHCDA boss also said that the vaccine awaits efficacy test evaluation by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), noting that it would take up 48 hours for the evaluation results to be out before the commencement of the inoculation.

Meanwhile, the US government representative, Dr. Melissa Freeman said that the vaccine doses from the United States were part of a donation that was set to boost the country’s vaccination rollout campaign.

The vaccines came amid growing concern about vaccination rates in Africa, which lag far behind those of advanced economies.

The world health Organisation(WHO), representative, Dr Anne Baptiste, medical officer, WHO, said that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was effective against several variants of concern, including the delta variant.

Also speaking, Mr Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative said the donation would contribute to the country’s expanded vaccination programme, which was fast gaining momentum to reach more people.

Hawkins said these life-saving vaccines arrived at a time when the country gears to vaccinate a total of 110 million Nigerians.

The Moderna vaccine has been listed for emergency use by , WHO to be safe and effective based on data from large-scale clinical trials.

 

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