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COVID-19 vaccination: FG seeks govs support as vaccine arrives 29 states

By Hassan Zaggi

Following the arrival of the moderna vaccines in 29 states of the country, the Federal Government has called on states governors across the country  to provide the needed oversight and resources to ensure that the vaccines are secured in the required temperature.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, made the call at a media briefing, Tuesday.

“Now that the vaccines are in the States, we are counting on our Governors to continue to provide the needed oversight and resources to ensure that these vaccines are secured and maintained in the required temperatures and that all eligible persons are mobilized to access the vaccines to protect themselves, their families and their communities against COVID-19,” he stressed.

Shuaib explained that the deployment of the moderna vaccines to the states was delayed after the certification by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administraiton and Contro (NAFDAC), 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.”

According to Shuaib, “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.

“Also, the states must have back-up storage facilities such as Walk-in cold room, Walk-in freezer or chest freezers with reliable 24-hrs power supply.

“Additionally, we require that the States have completed the training of health care workers who will monitor the equipment and the vaccines.”

Speaking, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, insisted that the vaccines approved by NAFDAC and WHO are safe and efficacious.

 He, however, emphasised the need for constant and extensive engagement with the media in order to create the needed awareness for Nigerians come out and be  vaccinated.

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