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Yes, Nigeria has enough facilities to store COVID-19 vaccines, says NPHCDA

*I want to reiterate that the first set of vaccines expected in the country is the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine and the equipment required to store them ─ the ultra-cold chain equipment ─ are available, says Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Contrary to earlier insinuations in certain quarters that Nigeria probably does not have proper and adequate storage for the much expected COVID-19 vaccines to immunisation, Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has stated that the country has more than enough facilities to store the 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine being expected late January or early February 2021.

The NPHCDA chief said this Monday, January 18 at the media briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, FCT.

Shuaib argued it is not true that the 100,000 doses being expected would be wasted because of lack of storage facility in the country.

He stated: “I want to reiterate that the first set of vaccine expected in the country is the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine and the equipment required to store them – the ultra-cold chain equipment – are available at the National Strategic Cold Store of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.”

The Executive Director of NPHCDA explained it is the decision of the Federal Government, through the PTF and the Ministry of Health not to invest too heavily in ultra-cold chain equipment.

Hence, the decision to go for vaccines that can be stored with the equipment being used to store vaccines for routine polio immunisation.

He encouraged all Nigerians to get vaccinated when vaccines become accessible in Nigeria.

Shuaib noted: “The chances of spreading the disease are significantly reduced when community members are vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, the PTF on COVID-19 has reminded Nigerians of the need to observe the Coronavirus guidelines and protocols in order to avoid a second lockdown

Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of PTF on COVID-19, urged Nigerians to do everything possible to avoid a second lockdown in Nigeria.

Boss announced that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been mandated to immediately implement the 450 tests per local government plan in the country.

“We are considering all options while hoping that broad cooperation will be received. We must do everything possible to avoid a second lockdown in Nigeria,” said the PTF Chairman.

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