The Federal Government intends to procure the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for Nigerians because of the availability of facility needed for its storage, Checkout Magazine learnt.
Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this at the weekend said the vaccine can be stored in a facility with temperature +2 to +8 degree celsius for a long period without it losing potency.
With the decision, Nigeria may have to forgo the Pfizer’s BioNTech vaccine because the country lacks enough space to keep the drug at + 2 to + 8 temperature not more than five days before use.
He explained that the delivery of the 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines will now be next month because of supply and manufacturing hitches according to information from the COVAX facility.
His words: “The AstraZeneca type Oxford vaccines are the ones that we want to invest in because we already have the infrastructure across the country to be able to store the vaccines.
“In Nigeria, as I speak, almost every single political ward has one freezer that can keep these vaccines at the right temperature.
“Only about 700 political wards do not have this type of equipment, and we are hopeful that if we keep installing them at the pace that we want to, hopefully by the end of this year, we will be able to finish installing, so that in every single political ward, we have the right equipment to be able to store our routine immunisation vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines at + 2 to +8 degree Celsius.”
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