By Haruna Gimba
The Federal Government of Nigeria said it has secured three ultra-cold chain equipments, with capacity to store vaccine in anticipation of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib disclosed via the agency’s official twitter handle.
He further noted that the cold chains are currently domiciled at the National Strategic Cold Store in Abuja.
He stressed that the UCC equipment are capable of storing up to 400,000 doses of mRNA vaccines at a temperature of -60 to -80 degree centigrade.
The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention described mRNA vaccines, also known as Messenger RNA, as a new type of vaccine that teaches the human cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside the bodies to protect against infectious diseases.
According tohim, the mRNA vaccines can be stored at +2 to +8 degree centigrade at the health facility level for five days.
“With the availability storage capacity for mRNA vaccines, Nigeria is ready to receive the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines. The NPHCDA also has walk-in freezer rooms that can store vaccines at -25 to -15 degree centigrade,” Shuaib said.
The NPHCDA director stated that Nigeria through the routine immunization delivery system already has enough storage capacity at the national, zonal, state, LGA, ward and health facility levels for non-mRNA vaccines which require storage temperature of +2 to +8 degree centigrade.
He said: “Health facilities have Solar Cold Chain Equipment to ensure that the potency of vaccine is maintained.”
The Punch reported that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also described UCC as a high-quality cold chain that allows health workers to deliver life-saving vaccines to every last child.
UNICEF stated that when vaccines are ordered, they always travel directly by plane from the manufacturer as refrigerated cargo to the country where they would be used.