The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has hinted that it successfully deployed the Moderna vaccines recieved from the United Kingdom government to 29 states of the federation.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, NPHCDA disclosed this at a Press Briefing on covid-19 vaccination update in Abuja yesterday.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that the 7 states which did not get vaccines could not meet the requirements which included having back-up storage facilities such as Walk-in cold room, Walk-in freezer or chest freezers with reliable 24-hrs power supply.
In his speech, the NPHCDA Boss revealed that the focus of the agency in the last few days had been on distributing the range of COVID-19 vaccines – Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to the states, as well as concluding the training of state and LGA personnel to ensure optimum vaccine utilisation.
He further explained why the moderna vaccines were not deployed earlier;
“We could not deploy the vaccines immediately after NAFDAC certification because, unlike the AstraZeneca, the Moderna vaccine did not come with complete barcoding.
“And this is absolutely needed for us to be able to track and trace the vaccines. As I told you in previous meetings, Nigeria was the first country to use Track and Trace, to monitor the movement and utilization of the vaccine.
“At every point in time, we know where each vaccine vial is in the country. This takes a lot of time as it entails careful packaging, serialization and follow up to the end user.
“Furthermore, we want to ensure that any state we are sending the vaccine to, is fully ready to receive them. Readiness here means that the state’s ultra-cold chain equipment is fully functional and able to store the vaccines at the required temperatures”, said Dr. Shuaib.
The NPHCDA Boss said now that the vaccines were in the states, they were counting on Governors to continue to provide the needed oversight and resources to ensure that the vaccines were secured and maintained in the required temperatures and that all eligible persons were mobilised to access the vaccines to protect themselves, their families and their communities against COVID-19.
Concerning the Johnson & Johnson vaccines procured by the Federal Government, he said;
“For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single dose, using Geographical Information System (GIS) we have mapped out the hard-to-reach areas across all States, such as security-compromised, riverine, nomadic and border settlements where these vaccines will be deployed for targeted vaccination.
“Again, as I mentioned previously, the reason for targeting these areas with the Johnson & Johnson is because of geographical constraints that make it difficult to reach the dwellers with the second dose after the first contact.
“Secondly, it removes the additional logistic cost of going to these communities twice. We have developed the necessary protocols to guide the States and ensure compliance with the distribution guideline for the vaccine”, he explained.
According to Dr. Shuaib, The AstraZeneca vaccine will be used as the second dose for those who received their first dose during the first phase, to ensure they were fully vaccinated.
“Administration of AstraZeneca Vaccine will commence on the 25th of August and will close on 5th of September.
“I therefore urge all those who received their first dose prior to July 8th to visit a designated vaccination site from 25th August to 5th September to receive their second dose and become fully protected against COVID-19.
“As we receive more supplies, we will then open it up for those who may wish to take their first doses”, he explained.
Dr. Peter Hawkins, UNICEF country representative who was represented by Dr. Gupta Gagan, encouraged all who have been vaccinated to mobilise their community to get vaccinated as well.