Nigeria has cold chain equipment to store the Covid Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine if it arrives the country, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said.
As a criteria used in selecting African countries to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the countries will need to have the capacity to store it at minus 70 degrees Celsius.
Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of NPHCDA told journalists on Saturday that the country has ultra cold chain equipment “which can store over 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine if these were brought to Nigeria”.
He said the cold chain equipment was used to store vaccines for the eradication of polio in Nigeria.
According to him, although the recommended temperature is minus 70 degrees Celsius, there is information that “dry ice” can be used to keep the temperature at minus 70 degrees celsius during transportation.
“We have engaged private companies that will support the production of the dry ice to make sure that as we deploy the vaccines to the sub-national level, the vaccines retain their potency,” Shuaib said.
“But beyond that, we also have information from Pfizer that you can keep this vaccine within the temperature of plus two to plus eight for a duration of five days.
“So even when it gets to the rural areas, you can still keep these vaccines within the solar direct-drive cold chain equipment for five days.
“Those are some of the processes that we are calculating, computing them to make sure that our strategies are spot-on.”
By Abel Ejikeme