Nigeria will receive 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by early February to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, said an official on Tuesday.
The authorities will ensure that the vaccines get to rural areas in the country, and work on the modalities for the screening of the vaccines before they are administered, said Faisal Shuaib, director-general of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA).
“The focus of deployment of the vaccines will be at the most affected areas in the country,” the official said, adding that there have adequate capacity to store the vaccines.
Africa’s most populous country, where officials recorded low coronavirus numbers through much of 2020, is in its second wave of infections and has seen cases surge in recent weeks.
According to Shuaib, the NPHDA already has three Ultra Cold Chain (UCC) equipment on the ground.
The expected 100,000 doses of the vaccine will occupy just 500 liters of space, with each item of the equipment having the capacity of 700 liters, Shuaib said.
“Three of them have a total capacity of 2,100 liters. So, we have more than enough space for the 100,000 doses of the vaccine that will be brought in the first instance,” he added.
But officials are concerned about becoming over-dependent on ultra cold equipment and vaccines. Shuaib says Nigeria also wants vaccines that need less cooling facilities.
Nigeria is working with Russia and India to procure those types of vaccines.