Cross River solicits FG’s support on facilities for storage of COVID-19 vaccines
Cross River State government has urged the Federal Government to support states in revamping Cold Chain System (CCS) across the country for effective storage of COVID-19 vaccines.
Director-General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHA), Dr. Janet Ekpenyong gave the charge yesterday at a virtual meeting organised by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) for heads of primary healthcare agencies and experts in the country.
At the meeting, which dwelled on how to achieve maximum compliance, she said the cold chain stores in some states were destroyed during the nationwide #EndSARS protests and that there was the need for urgent intervention.
The Guardian learned that Pfizer and Mordena vaccines require effective management with a storage temperature of around +2 to -80 degree centigrade hence the need for proper storage equipment.
Experts also insisted that for optimal results to be achieved in the COVID-19 vaccination across Nigeria, there was the need for effective and functional cold chain stores to maintain the potency of the vaccines and guarantee their lifecycle on the shelves.
Ekpenyong noted that due to the peculiarity of the vaccines that would soon be introduced, it was necessary to maintain an environmentally friendly condition and vaccine potency should be prioritised, especially since some Nigerians have indicated an interest in being vaccinated.
She said to secure the confidence of Nigerians, adequate preparations should be made and the quality of refrigerators that would store the vaccines ascertained to avoid adverse effects, which may result from improper storage and placing, as experienced in some countries for different preventable diseases.
On capacity building for health workers in handling and administering the vaccines, Ekpenyong urged the NPHDA to ensure that frontline health workers are trained on management and administration of dosage to meet best practices.
“Due to the technicality in handling the vaccines, I appeal that whenever we start capacity building for health workers, we should pay attention to training and ways of handling the vaccines.”
“Health workers should be adequately trained on how to handle and administer the vaccines since the vaccines require different modes of preservation, handling, and even administration to avoid wastage among other things,” she stated.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government had announced the procurement of about 100,000 doses of vaccines which are being expected in the country and frontline health workers, aviation staff, security personnel, and other essential service providers, who have attained 50 years and above, would be the target of first administration.
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