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COVID-19: NPHCDA inspects 4 million Moderna vaccines, donated by the US government

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COVID-19: NPHCDA inspects 4 million Moderna vaccines, donated by the US government

By Abujah Racheal

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Monday inspected the more than four million doses of Moderna vaccines donated by the United States of America to step up efforts to combat a third wave of infections.

Speaking during the vaccine inspection at the National Strategic Cold Store, NPHCDA Executive Director Dr Faisal Shuaib said that effective cold chain management of any COVID-19 vaccine is essential to ensure the success of the national immunization program.

Taking reporters on tour, Faisal said Nigeria can stockpile COVID-19 vaccines, including the Moderna vaccine.

He revealed that the Nigerian government had previously acquired 60 additional ultra-cold freezers, which could accommodate both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

He added that the store had a combined capacity of 2,100 liters and operated at a temperature of -85 ° C.

“The Moderna vaccine was to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2 ° to 8 ° C (36 ° to 46 ° F) for 30 days.

“The shipping and long-term storage conditions are at standard freezing temperatures of -20 ° C (-4 ° F) for six months, while mRNA-1273 must be distributed using widely available vaccine delivery and storage infrastructure.

“After the vaccine is taken out of the refrigerator for administration, it can be stored at room temperature for up to 12 hours,” he explained.

The NPHCDA boss said the vaccine was awaiting evaluation of efficacy testing by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), noting that it would take 48 hours for the results of the assessment are published prior to inoculation.

Also speaking, U.S. government representative Dr Melissa Freeman said the vaccine doses were part of a donation to boost the campaign to roll out immunization in the country.

Freeman said the urgently needed aid came amid growing concerns over immunization rates in Africa, which are far behind those in advanced economies.

In addition, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Anne Baptiste, said the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was effective against several variants of concern, including the delta variant.

Baptiste added that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine has shown promise of protection against other impacts of COVID-19, including hospitalization.

Also speaking, Mr. Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, said the donation will contribute to the country’s expanded immunization program, which is rapidly gaining momentum to reach more people.

Hawkins said the life-saving vaccines came as the country is preparing to vaccinate a total of 110 million Nigerians.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that US President Joe Biden in June announced a donation of 500 million doses of vaccine to the world’s poorest countries to help hasten the end of the pandemic, without “any condition ”.

Vaccines are channeled through COVAX, the international aid initiative that aims to ensure global access to vaccines.

The U.S. government has shipped nearly 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to two of Africa’s most populous countries – Nigeria and South Africa – as the continent battles the third wave of infections.

The initiative is part of the collaboration between the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), COVAX and the US government.

African Union member states would receive around 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to improve coverage across the continent and immunize at least 60% of Africa’s population.

NAN reports that the doses, which arrived on two planes on Sunday, were received by UNICEF officials on behalf of Nigeria at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

The delivery was the second batch of vaccine to arrive in Nigeria after four million doses were delivered in March as part of the COVAX vaccine sharing facility.

COVAX was set up to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to low-income countries, and has already delivered more than 80 million doses to 129 territories.

Nigeria has since used up four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to launch its nationwide immunization program.

The Moderna vaccine received on Sunday is the type of mRNA vaccine manufactured and developed by Moderna, NIAID.

Two injections of the vaccine are given by intramuscular injection, 28 days apart.

The Moderna vaccine has been listed for emergency use by the WHO to be safe and effective based on data from large-scale clinical trials. (NAA)

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