- By Goodness Anenih
A total of four million and eighty (4,000,080) Moderna vaccines donated to Nigeria by the United States of America, to step up efforts to battle the COVID-19 infections has been inspected by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Abuja.
The Executive Director of NPHCDA Dr. Faisal Shuaib while taking newsmen on an inspection of the vaccine on Monday said an effective cold chain management of any COVID-19 vaccine is key to ensuring the success of the national vaccination programme.
He 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.
Dr. Shuaib however said the vaccine await efficacy test evaluation by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC).
He also noted that it would take 48-hours for the evaluation results to be out before inoculation.
The U.S. government representative, Dr. Melissa Freeman on their part, said the vaccine doses was part of a donation that was set to boost the country’s vaccination rollout campaign.
Freeman said the urgently needed help came amid growing concern about vaccination rates in Africa, which lag far behind those of advanced economies.
Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO), representative, Dr Anne Baptiste, said the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was effective against several variants of concern, including the delta variant.
Baptiste added that the Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine shows a promise to protect against other COVID-19 impact including hospitalisation.
UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Peter Hawkins, 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.
It would be recalled that U.S. President Joe Biden in June, announced a donation of 500 million doses of vaccine to the world’s poorest countries to help speed the pandemic’s end, with “no strings attached”.
The vaccines are being brought in through COVAX, the international aid initiative that seeks to ensure global access to vaccines.
The vaccines which arrived on two planes on Sunday, a
August 1, 2021 were received by UNICEF officials on behalf of Nigeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The delivery was the second batch of vaccines to arrive Nigeria after four million doses were delivered in March under the COVAX vaccine sharing Facility.