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Nigeria has enough facilities to store COVID-19 vaccine –NPHCDA

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Oba Darasimi

National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA has said that Nigeria has more than enough facilities to store COVID-19 vaccines.

The country is expecting to take the delivery of 100,000 doses of the vaccine late January or early February.

And insinuations are rife that the country does not have the facilities to store the vaccine.

However, the Executive Director of the agency Faisal Shuaib, during of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, said the country has enough facilities to store the doses.

The NPHCDA boss said, “I want to reiterate that the first set of vaccine expected in the country is the Pfizer Biotech vaccine and the facilities required to store them –  the ultra-cold chain equipment –  are available at the National Strategic Cold Store of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.”

Shuaib said it was the decision of government, through the PTF and the Ministry of Health not to invest too heavily in ultra-cold chain equipment, hence the decision to go for vaccines that can be stored with the facilities being used to store vaccines for routine polio immunisation.

While encouraging all Nigerians to get vaccinated when vaccines become accessible, Shuaib said, “The chances of spreading the disease are significantly reduced when community members are vaccinated,” he said.

Similarly, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has  also said efforts were ongoing to secure more doses of the approved COVID – 19 vaccines to cover an additional 50 per cent of the population.

According to him, the country was expecting 10 million doses of the viral vector vaccine, which could be supplied as from March 2021.

Ehanire said, “Bearing in mind options suitable for our environment and the available infrastructure, as well as Investment in delivery, Nigeria has written to express interest in 10 million doses of the viral vector vaccine, which could be supplied as from March 2021.”

 

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