The federal government has disclosed plans to begin the administration of AstraZeneca vaccine across the country on Wednesday.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development, Faisal Shuaib on Tuesday explained that 29 States have so far received some portion of the Moderna vaccines.
He said the AstraZeneca vaccine will be used as the second dose for those who received their first dose during the first phase, to ensure they are fully vaccinated.
According to him, the government has mapped out the hard-to-reach areas such as security-compromised, riverine, nomadic and border settlements in all states, for the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single dose.
He said, “In the last few days, our focus has been on distributing the range of COVID-19 vaccines – Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to the states, as well as concluding the training of state and LGA personnel to ensure optimum vaccine utilization.
“So far, we have deployed Moderna vaccines to 29 States. It is pertinent to state that we could not deploy the vaccines immediately after NAFDAC certification because, unlike the AstraZeneca, the Moderna vaccine did not come with complete barcoding.”
Speaking further, Shuaib stressed on the need for state government to be prepared in effective storage of the vaccines received, adding that they must have back-up storage facilities such as Walk-in cold room, Walk-in freezer or chest freezers with reliable 24-hours power supply.
“We want to ensure that any state we are sending the vaccine to, is fully ready to receive them. Readiness here means that the state’s ultra-cold chain equipment is fully functional and able to store the vaccines at the required temperatures.
“Additionally, we require that the States have completed the training of health care workers who will monitor the equipment and the vaccines.
“Now that the vaccines are in the States, we are counting on our Governors to continue to provide the needed oversight and resources to ensure that these vaccines are secured and maintained in the required temperatures and that all eligible persons are mobilized to access the vaccines to protect themselves, their families and their communities against COVID-19,” he said.
He further explained that the reason for targeting areas with the Johnson & Johnson is due to geographical constraints which make it difficult to reach the dwellers with the second dose after the first contact.