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Nigeria gets 4m doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 7 days – PTF

Nigeria will receive initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines out of the 16 million doses donated by the COVAX facility in the next one week, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said on Monday.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the PTF said the Nigerian authorities have been assured that the initial doses would be delivered to the country very soon and Nigerians would be adequately informed on developments.

Speaking at the PTF briefing, Mustapha said multi-sectoral machinery would be deployed to enhance the logistics for the “last-mile administration” processes that have been put in place.

“This will involve community mobilisation, training, transportation, storage, operations, etc. The real work involves every sub-national entity, the communities, the citizens, and the civil societies. We crave your cooperation and support to achieve this”, he said.

The chairman warned Nigerians against procuring uncertified vaccines from the black market.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the vaccines would hopefully arrive between February 22 (yesterday) and next week Monday, March 1.

“It is not our intention to postpone the arrival date of the vaccines. However, any change in delivery date will be properly communicated to Nigerians” he noted.

He reiterated that the agency has the capacity to store and manage the vaccines, with the cold chain requirements of +2 to +8. “And this aligns with our cold chain equipment used during polio”, he said.

“The vaccines will be stored in working cold rooms at the national state and local levels. At local government levels, the vaccine will be stored in vaccine refrigerator with solar direct drive cold chain equipment. Approximately 7500 political wards have solar direct drive cold chain equipment, and installation ongoing in other political wards that don’t have it,” he added.

Shuaib also informed that the agency have established a national COVID-19 operations room to track planned activities at all levels and report on state of preparedness using a dash board to also identify and address gaps promptly.

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