FG provides facilities for US vaccine release
Prior to the arrival of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in the country over the next few weeks, the federal government set a condition that states must meet before providing vaccines to them, according to The PUNCH.
Haji Kubura Daradara, director of logistics and health products at the National Agency for the Development of Primary Health Care, said Friday during a webinar hosted by the agency that the government will not release vaccines in states until states are ready to use them.
He explained that states had to introduce vaccines within five days to maintain their effectiveness, and that only states that demonstrated a commitment to the cause would receive vaccines.
The federal government said the first shipment of vaccines will arrive in the country between late January and February 2021, adding that the vaccines to be used in the country will be safe and effective.
He also said that the planned 100,000 doses of the vaccine in the first batch are for 50,000 Nigerians as the vaccines will be given twice 21 days apart.
Health Minister Dr. Osagi Ehanir previously said the country would spend $ 400 billion on vaccines for 70% of Nigerians it intended to vaccinate amid the growing spread of the virus during the dire second wave of the pandemic. …
On December 21, the Senate expressed doubts about the government’s willingness to store vaccines effectively upon arrival in the country.
Senate President Ahmad Lavan added: “I was not convinced by your statement that we are ready to introduce vaccines. There is much more you need to do to convince me that we are ready. It is a matter of life or death. I am not only the dubious Thomas, but also Ahmad. “
Senate Vice President Ovi Omo-Agege also raised concerns about the government’s ability to store vaccines, saying the government has only prepared four cold chains for vaccines in Abuja, Kano, Enugu and Lagos. He asked why the South-South region was not included in the plan.
He complained that the vaccine could lose its effectiveness in transit from south to south if no funds were provided. Other senators have also expressed similar concerns about vaccine storage.
But speaking at the webinar on Friday, Daradara said: “We will not release vaccines in any state until we are convinced that they are ready for introduction (introduction of the vaccine). We will use dry ice in insulated containers that will be hermetically sealed to transport vaccines.
“Then, when the state is ready to implement, we one day bring them vaccines until they start introduction. At the national level, vaccines can remain at +2 to +8, which corresponds to a normal refrigeration rate for five days. Then each state will do its own marketing for five days, with the vaccines still effective after we introduce them.
“Once the vaccines arrive in the US, they can remove the vaccines and put them in their regular refrigerators, where they will remain for five days.”
Speaking about the logistics available for the distribution of the vaccine, he said: “Two weeks before the vaccines arrive in the country, we will receive advance notice that we are awaiting vaccines, we will issue a work order to our customs clearance agents, we will also send notifications to customs, National Food Agency. and the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Aviation Company so they know we are expecting a vaccine.
“Immediately after the vaccine arrives, customs clearance agents, along with NAFDAC and customs, go to the airport to complete paperwork. The vaccines are immediately delivered to the national strategic cold store in Abuja, where we have ultra-cold chain freezers where we will store the vaccines.
“Before loading vaccines into the UCC, the NAFDAC staff member who followed them from the airport to the store will select a random sample from each batch of vaccine and it will be delivered to their office for testing. NAFDAC will then confirm whether the vaccines are effective and good enough to use. “
He indicated that vaccines will be stored at temperatures between -80 and -60 degrees Celsius.
He said that given that some cold rooms were taken over by thugs during the violence that followed the #EndSARS protest in October 2020, security will be maintained from the time the vaccines arrive at the airport until they are administered to recipients.
“There will be security personnel at every level of the chain,” she added.