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NPHCDA: FG to buy Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for storage ease

NPHCDA: FG to buy Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for storage ease
January 25
10:47 2021

Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says the federal government will invest in the procurement of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. 

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The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) had said Nigeria does not have enough freezers to store the 100,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine it is expecting.

But speaking on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA)’s Weekend File on Sunday, Shuaib said arrangements are already in place to receive and store the vaccines at minus 70 degrees Celsius.

He said the government will not spend much in procuring ultra-cool freezers, instead it would shift focus to Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which can be stored with the country’s available freezers for routine immunisation vaccines.

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“So, federal government is not going to be investing too much on the ultra-cooling equipment. Instead, federal government over the last few years has invested in freezers and refrigerators thatare able to keep our routine immunisation vaccines at +2 to +8,” Shuaib said.

“The AstraZeneca type Oxford vaccines are the ones that we want to invest in because we already have the infrastructure all across the country to be able to store the vaccines.

“So, in Nigeria, as I speak, almost every single political ward has one freezer, solar-directed equipment, that can keep these vaccines at the right temperature.

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“Only about 700 or so 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.”

Shuaib also said the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will no longer be delivered to the country in January.

“The information we get from Covax facility is that the first 100,000 doses will be coming by February. initially they had mentioned that it was going to be in January but just yesterday, we got information that due to supply and manufacturing issues, they would not be able to meet the January date. Now, it is looking like we will get the 100,000 doses in February,” he said.

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