NPHCDA counters DG NIMR, says Nigeria has facilities to store Pfizer vaccine

The chief executive officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib has disclosed that Nigeria has cold chain equipment to store the Pfizer vaccine when it eventually arrives.

WHO regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti had stated that the capacity to store it at minus 70 degrees Celsius is among the criteria used in selecting the African countries that are to receive the vaccine.

The CEO of NPHCDA, Shuaib while addressing journalists on Saturday said the country has ultra cold chain equipment “which can store over 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine if these were brought to Nigeria”.

He said the cold chain equipment was used to store vaccines for the eradication of polio in Nigeria.

He said although the recommended temperature is minus 70 degrees Celsius, there is information that “dry ice” can be used to keep the temperature at minus 70 degrees celsius during transportation.

“We have engaged private companies that will support the production of the dry ice to make sure that as we deploy the vaccines to the sub-national level, the vaccines retain their potency,” Shuaib said.

“But beyond that, we also have information from Pfizer that you can keep this vaccine within the temperature of plus two to plus eight for a duration of five days.

“So even when it gets to the rural areas, you can still keep these vaccines within the solar direct-drive cold chain equipment for five days.

“Those are some of the processes that we are calculating, computing them to make sure that our strategies are spot-on.”

Recall that the director-general of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Babatunde Salako had stated that Nigeria does not have enough freezers to store thousands of doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine when they are delivered to the country.

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