The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has confirmed existence of storage facilities to preserve potency of the 100,000 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines being expected in Nigeria from January 31 to early February.
The Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who spoke when he took journalists on a tour of the agency’s ultra-cold chain equipment in Abuja, observed that the Covax therapy would occupy about 500 litres, as the facility could take a little over 400,000 doses.
He said: “Our ultra-cold chain equipment is fully functional and in good working condition with each having the capacity of 700 litres. The total capacity required to store the Pfizer BioNTech vaccines is 2100 litres. The total requirement for the first 100,000 doses that Nigeria will be receiving by the end of January or early February is 500 litres. So, we have more than the needed capacity to store them.”
Shuaib added that his organistion has similar structures in the six geo-political zones, with every state also having a cold store for the medication and related commodities.
He explained that the country was prioritising distribution of the therapy, safety of health workers and support staff on the frontline, isolation centres, the elderly and other first responders.
The number of doses to be received by each state, the NPHCDA boss added, would be determined by number of health workers on the frontline. He said the focus of the presidential task force (PTF) and the Federal Ministry of Health was to receive vaccines that do not require complicated cold chain mechanisms like the Oxford AstraZeneca’s that require between +2 and +8 Degree Celsius.