NIGERIA – Nigeria has received 177,600 Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines, marking the first wave of arrivals of COVID-19 vaccines procured through the African Union.
“The arrival of these vaccines will be yet another step in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
He adds that the shipment, is the first batch of the vaccine from the African Union which would be received in segments monthly until total 29.8 million doses are completed.
Speaking on the advantage of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, ED said, “The single dose vaccine will be a viable tool to interrupt the spread of the pandemic especially in the rural areas, riverine and hard to reach places. It would be more beneficial for Nigeria, given its huge difficult terrains, coupled with weak systems for keeping track of people and logistics involved for delivering the second doses.”
The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is stored between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F): Storage unit temperatures must be monitored regularly and checked and recorded at the beginning of each workday to determine if any excursions have occurred since the last temperature check.
Taking partners and journalists round the National Strategic Cold Store where the vaccines are kept, Dr. Shuaib said that, the country has proven with the storage of the AstraZeneca vaccine that it has the right equipment to adequately store the Janssen vaccine which requires same storage temperature.
In his remark, the WHO country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo commended the effort of the Nigerian government in containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and making available vaccine for the populace.
Dr Molumbo said that the arrival of the is a symbolic landmark in Nigeria’s widely acclaimed successful response to COVID-19 pandemic.
Pledging WHO’s continuous commitment to supporting the country in reaching its targeted population with safe and effective vaccines, Dr Mulombo said that as the only single dose COVID-19 vaccine approved for use to date, the Janssen is an important tool for accessing hard-to-reach populations, thus playing a key role in preventing infections and reducing deaths across Nigeria.
Earlier this month (01 August 2021) Nigeria also received its second batch of COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX Facility. Over four million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were donated by the United States Government.
This is an important step in the fight against COVID-19 as the country intensify efforts to battle the current third wave of infections.
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