By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the agency’s ultra-cold chain is effective to store vaccines expected in the country.
Speaking during a webinar on Giri day, Shuaibu said that the Federal Government has invested in cold chain equipment to get vaccines that the storage facility can effectively manage.
At the webinar tagged; “Sensitisation Meeting with Media Gatekeepers on COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction”, the NPHCDA boss, assured Nigerians about the effectiveness of the expected vaccines, noting that the presidency is confident and ready to participate in vaccination once the exercise kicks off.
He further assured that NPHCDA is working closely with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control as a regulatory agency, irrespective of other foreign certification of the vaccine.
“There must be due diligence. When the vaccines come, NAFDAC has to go through the assessment and processes to certify it good enough for Nigerians,” he added.
“Our focus is to get vaccines that our cold chain can manage. We have the ultra-cold chain to keep them potent.
“100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are expected in the country by the end of January 2021.
“We are prioritising our health workers. When the vaccine arrives, 100,000 will go to the front line workers.
“We have invested in cold chain equipment, and we are aware the COVAX Facility will bring additional vaccines that will work more in our environment.
“There is a comprehensive deployment plan. We are identifying priorities especially those that work directly with patients and we have a list of these individuals that work across the country.”
“We are also generating a more comprehensive database of such workers.
“There’s no doubt that the vaccine is efficacious. I have no doubt that the President has confidence in the vaccines and will take it in the event of its availability.
“We are working with a regulatory agency — NAFDAC, irrespective of other foreign certification of the vaccine. There must be due diligence.
“When the vaccines come, NAFDAC has to go through the assessment and processes to certify it good enough for Nigerians.
“NAFDAC is consistent. The leadership of NAFDAC is very competent. They will work with WHO to certify the vaccine. We have competent Nigerians that can do the job.
“For us in the health sector, we must put in the effort and push the drive for vaccines…we must also listen to people and empathise with their concerns with continuous sensitization.”