In its bid to halt the spread of Covid-19 infections in the country, Nigeria today took delivery of four million and eighty (4,000,080) Moderna vaccine doses from the United States of America (USA).
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this while inspecting the vaccines at the National Strategic Cold Store.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that vaccine acceptability was increasing due to growing awareness.
Dr. Faisal said effective cold chain management of any COVID-19 vaccine was key to ensuring the success of the national vaccination program.
Taking newsmen on a tour of the facility, he hinted that Nigeria could store more COVID-19 vaccines because the store has a combined capacity of 2100 litres and operates at a temperature of -85°C.
Explaining the vaccine mechanism, he said:
“The Moderna vaccine is expected to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for 30 days.
“Shipping and long-term storage conditions are at standard freezer temperatures of -20°C (-4°F) for six months while mRNA-1273 to be distributed using widely available vaccine delivery and storage infrastructure.
“Once the vaccine is removed from the refrigerator for administration, it can be kept at room temperature conditions for up to 12 hours,” he explained.
The NPHCDA boss said that the vaccine await efficacy test evaluation by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), noting that it would take 48-hours for the evaluation results to be out before inoculation.
Also speaking, the US government representative, Dr Melissa Freeman said that the vaccine doses were part of a donation that was set to boost the country’s vaccination rollout campaign.
Freeman said that the urgently needed help came amid growing concern about vaccination rates in Africa, which lagged far behind those of advanced economies.
Also, the World Health Organisation(WHO), representative, Dr Anne Baptiste, said that 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 showed a promise to protect against other COVID-19 impact including hospitalisation.
Also speaking, Mr Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative said the donation would contribute to the country’s expanded vaccination programme, which was fast gaining momentum to reach more people.
Date of resumption of vaccination will be announced shortly.