The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA), says Nigeria is to receive 100, 000 doses of mRNA Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to administer to Nigerians to combat the pandemic.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Director-General (DG) of NPHDA, told reporters at a media briefing in Abuja that the vaccines are expected between late January 2021 and early February 2021.
Shuaib explained that the agency was working in partnership with the Presidential Task Force Committee on COVID-19 and other health workers to ensure that the vaccines get to rural areas in the country upon its arrival.
He cautioned Nigerians not to express fear over the safety of lives as the agency would also work on modalities and in synergy with NAFDAC for the screening of the vaccines before they are administered.
“We are able to tap into an innovative collaboration that exists with the private sectors so we can move them all the way through the states, local government areas, and the health facilities where they will be utilised.
“The focus of deployment of the vaccines will be at the most affected areas in the country, ‘’ he said.
The agency, according to him, will work with other teams including the religious leaders, traditional rulers, who will receive the vaccines to serve as an example to other citizens to minimise the fears in them.
The NPHDA boss also used the medium to debunk reports on social media that the agency lacked the capacity to store the vaccines.
According to him, the agency has three Ultra Cold Chain (UCC), equipment already on ground.
“Today, we are here to show the Ultra Cold Chain equipment that we have.
“As you are all aware, in the next few weeks, we will be in receipt of the Pfizers mRNA vaccines, up to a hundred thousand doses of them.
“Already there have been a conversation whether or not, we have the right equipment to store them.
“This ultra-cold chain equipment, as you can see from the continuous temperature monitoring, is currently at minus 83.8 degree Celsius.
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“We have currently three ultra-potent equipment, the 100, 000 doses of the vaccines we are expecting will occupy just 500 litres of space, each of this equipment has the capacity of 700 litres.
“Three of them have a total capacity of 2,100 litres. So, we have more than enough space for 100, 000 doses of the vaccines that will be brought in the first instance, “ he said.