Four million vaccine doses from the U.S were delivered through the COVAX facility in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday.
To be precise, four million and eighty doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were donated by the Biden-Harris administration of the United States of America.
COVAX facility is a vaccine alliance aimed at ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines globally. It was through this facility that the COVID-19 vaccines were disbursed. National Strategic Cold Store near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, with a combined storage capacity of 2100 liters and operates at a temperature of -85°C, is the current resting home of the vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is anticipated to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for 30 days. It’s a relief Nigeria can store these vaccines without external party interference. Can we say Nigeria is progressing facility/technology-wise?
According to Dr. Faisal Shuaib, effective cold chain management of any COVID-19 vaccine is key to ensuring the success of the national vaccination program. This statement was made during the inspection process of the vaccine.
In May, The President of the United States, Joe Biden, pledged to share 80 million vaccines produced in the U.S with countries around the world to protect the most vulnerable and stem transmission of the coronavirus. The disbursement of the COVID-19 vaccine is a testament to him staying true to his pledge, which of course, is commendable.
Although Africa isn’t greatly affected by this pandemic, it is expected to receive 25 million of the 80 million vaccines. Dr. Freeman said that the high fraction of the vaccine allocation to Africa results from the immense concern about vaccination rates in Africa, which is very low compared to the developed countries.
The first shipments will be to Burkina Faso, Djibouti, and Ethiopia. These shipments had already been delivered.
The executive director and chief executive officer of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had made plans and preparation by purchasing 60 ultra-cold chain equipment and have since allocated one to each of the 36 states. It was made public while he was addressing the press on Monday.
The vaccine is ready for efficacy test evaluation by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). It is expected to take 48-hours for the evaluation results to be out before introducing the vaccination centers.
Ever since the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been chaos from fighting one variant to another. The World Health Organisation(WHO), representative, Dr. Anne Baptiste, said that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was effective against several variants of concern, including the delta variant. Baptiste added that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine shows a promise to protect against other COVID-19 impacts, including hospitalization.
This Moderna holds so much promise. Let’s hope this pandemic comes to an end, vanished without a trace, so we can all resume our activities as they were, pre-pandemic era.