The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Monday inspected the over four million Moderna vaccines doses donated by the U.S. of America to steps up efforts to battle a third wave of infections.
Speaking while inspecting the vaccines at the National Strategic Cold Store, the Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said an effective cold chain management of any COVID-19 vaccine is key to ensuring the success of the national vaccination programme.
Taking newsmen on a tour, Faisal said Nigeria can store COVID-19 vaccines, including the Moderna vaccine.
He disclosed that the Nigeria Government had earlier acquired an additional 60 ultra cold freezers, that would accommodate both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
He further said the store has a combined capacity of 2100 litres and operates at a temperature of -85°C.
“The Moderna vaccine was expected to remain stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2° to 8°C (36° to 46°F) for 30 days.
“Shipping and long-term storage conditions are at standard freezer temperatures of -20°C (-4°F) for six months while mRNA-1273 to be distributed using widely available vaccine delivery and storage infrastructure.
“Once the vaccine is removed from the refrigerator for administration, it can be kept at room temperature conditions for up to 12 hours,” he explained.
The NPHCDA boss said that the vaccine await efficacy test evaluation by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), noting that it would take 48-hours for the evaluation results to be out before inoculation.
Also speaking, the U.S. government representative, Dr Melissa Freeman, said that the vaccine doses was part of a donation that was set to boost the country’s vaccination rollout campaign.
Freeman said that the urgently needed help came amid growing concerns about vaccination rates in Africa, which lag far behind those of advanced economies.
Also, the World Health Organisation(WHO) representative, Dr Anne Baptiste, said that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was effective against several variants of concern, including the delta variant.
Baptiste added that the Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine showed a promise to protect against other COVID-19 impact including hospitalisation.
Also speaking, Mr Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative, said the donation would contribute to the country’s expanded vaccination programme, which was fast gaining momentum to reach more people.
Hawkins said these life-saving vaccines arrived at a time when the country gears to vaccinate a total of 110 million Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that U.S. President Joe Biden in June, announced a donation of 500 million doses of vaccine to the world’s poorest countries to help speed the pandemic’s end, with “no strings attached”.
The vaccines are being brought in through COVAX, the international aid initiative that seeks to ensure global access to vaccines.
The U.S. government shipped nearly 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to two of the most populous African 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 U.S. government.
The African Union Member States would receive about 25 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to enhance coverage across the continent and vaccinate at least 60 per cent of the African population.
NAN reports that the doses, which arrived on two planes on Sunday were received by UNICEF officials on behalf of Nigeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The delivery was the second batch of vaccines to arrive in Nigeria after four million doses were delivered in March under the COVAX vaccine sharing facility.
COVAX was set up to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines, particularly to low-income countries, and has already delivered more than 80 million doses to 129 territories.
Nigeria has since exhausted the four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to kick off its nationwide inoculation programme.
The Moderna vaccine received on Sunday is the mRNA type of vaccine manufactured and developed by Moderna, NIAID.
Two shots of the vaccine are administered through intramuscular injection, 28 days apart.
The Moderna vaccine has been listed for emergency use by , WHO to be safe and effective based on data from large-scale clinical trials. (NAN)
Shaibu Relocates Office Out Of Edo Govt House
The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu has commenced the relocation of his office to an area outside the vicinity of the Government House.
The development follows last of Shuaibu’s suit filed at the Federal High Court to stop alleged plots by week’s withdrawal the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to remove him from office.
The new office is situated at No. 7, Dennis Osadebey Avenue, close to the Government House.
Sources close to the deputy governor said that a letter was sent by the Head of Service to the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Deputy Governor instructing her to supervise the movement of civil servants and files to the new office.
It was also gathered that the new office is not habitable as there is no electricity, is waterlogged, and the office spaces are significantly small.
The state government had however insisted that the deputy governor’s new office is within the confines of the area designated as the Government House.
NARD SET TO CALL OF STRIKE AFTER SENATE’S INTERVENTION
••• Cancels Planned National Protest
Striking members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are set to call off their two week old strike after a closed door meeting with Principal Officers of the Senate on Tuesday.
Adressing the media shortly after the closed door meeting with President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate, National President of the association, Dr Emeka Innocent Orji, stated “we had a very fruitful meeting with the Senate led by the President of the Senate and from our discussions with them, we are very hopeful that when we table our discussions today before the NEC, something positive would come out.
“From our interaction with the President of the Senate and the practical demonstration he did before us today, we are very confident that there would be light at the end of the tunnel in the next 24 hours.
“Because of the intervention of the President of the Senate, who is the number three citizen and the assurance he has given us, our planned national protest has been cancelled while the decision on the ongoing strike would be taken as soon we meet, he assured.
Speaking in the same vein, Senator Akpabio, thanked the medical doctors for honoring the Senate by calling off their planned national protest and also working towards calling off the strike.
According to him, ” I thank you onbehalf of the Senate for honoring us with your decision not only to cancel the planned public protest, but to also call off the strike in the interest of the suffering masses.
“Your demands are well noted and let me assure you that as soon as a Minister in charge of Health is appointed, the Senate will work with him or her to expeditiously adress all your grievances. The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is Doctors friendly and that explains the large number of medical practitioners he has appointed into his cabinet.
“Strike by medical practitioners should not be allowed even for a day because of the impacts it creates in the polity and that is why the Senate is determined to ensure through interactions and consultation with relevant offices, amicable settlement of the impasse is reached,” he stated.
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio (3rd from left), Dr Emeka Innocent Orji (middle) Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele and Senator Ireti Kingibe (first from right)after a meeting with national officers of NARD in the office the President of the Senate on Tuesday.
Nigerian-Made Noodles Safe To Eat, Says NAFDAC
The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified noodles manufactured in Nigeria, saying they are safe for consumption.
The confirmation followed the Agency’s investigation into the presence of ethylene oxide or its metabolite in noodles or their seasonings.
This was made known by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday.
She noted that ethylene oxide or its derivative was not found in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria and their seasonings which make them safe for consumption.
The NAFDAC boss also declared that the level of mycotoxin and the heavy metals were within the internationally acceptable limit.
“Therefore, the noodles made in Nigeria are very safe to eat,” she stated.
Giving account of how the sampling of the noodles was conducted, she said, “Samples of chicken flavoured instant noodles of various brands (and the seasonings) were drawn from the production facilities across the country.
“This was to ensure that the investigation was robust, covering other instant noodles brands manufactured in Nigeria, besides Indomie, the implicated brand.
“The Post Marketing Surveillance Division also visited markets/retail outlets in the major cities of Lagos, Abuja, and Kano and drew samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis.
“The market visits served as surveillance for the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market.
“The samples drawn from production facilities and trade were properly packaged and delivered in good condition to our Central Laboratory, Oshodi, Lagos, where analytical activities commenced immediately in accordance with international standards and methods of analysis.”
For the sampling, a total of 114 samples of instant noodles and the seasonings were received, the NAFDAC DG stated.
The agency re-assured the public that it is proactive and committed to protecting the health of the public.
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