According to reports reaching Oyogist.com, the federal government has set some conditions that various states in the country must adhere to before it begins the distribution of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines within the next few weeks.
This was disclosed during a webinar hosted on Friday by the Director, Logistics and Health Commodities, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Hajia Kubura Daradara, who stressed that the agency would not release the vaccines to any state not ready to administer them.
She further stressed that these states would need to administer the vaccines within five days of distribution to enable it retain its potency.According to the FG, first batch of the vaccine would arrive Nigeria between the end of January and February 2021.
Speaking at the webinar on Friday, Daradara said, “We are not releasing the vaccines to any state until we are sure that they are ready to implement (administer the vaccines). For the transportation of the vaccines, we will use dry ice in insulated thermal containers that are going to be sealed.“So, when a state is ready for implementation, we take the vaccines to them a day to the time they are going to start the implementation. At the state level, the vaccines can stay for +2 to +8, which is at the normal refrigeration level for five days. So, each state would do their implementation for five days, that is when the vaccines will still be potent after we have given them.
“Once the vaccines are in the states, they can remove the vaccines and put them in their normal refrigerators where it would stay for five days.”Speaking further on the available logistics for deploying the vaccines, she stated, “Two weeks before the vaccines come into the country, we would receive a pre-alert that we are expecting the vaccines, we would issue job order to our clearing agents, we also issue notification letters to Customs, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the National Aviation Handling Company so they can know we are expecting vaccines.
“Immediately the vaccines arrive, the clearing agents go to the airport with the NAFDAC and Customs to conclude the documentation. The vaccines are immediately taken to the National Strategic Cold Store in Abuja, where we have Ultra Cold Chain freezers where we would store the vaccines.
“Before loading the vaccines into the UCC, the NAFDAC officer that followed them from the airport to the store will pick a sample randomly from every batch of the vaccine and these would be taken to their office for testing. NAFDAC would then certify if the vaccines are potent and good enough to be used, she said further.