The Federal Government has explained why Nigerian children are not been considered for the coming COVID-19 vaccines.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said that the vaccines have not been proven to be safe for children.
He was speaking on Monday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
This is as he said that the much-expected COVID-19 vaccines will hopefully arrive Nigeria between February 22nd and next week Monday.
“What the evidence has shown is that the vaccines have been tried in individuals above 15 years of age for the Pfizer vaccine and above 18 years in the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The finding is that these are only the individuals that the vaccines are safe to tried on.
“I am sure that there is data to give on the effects of VOCID-19 in children. However, from the data that has been shared by the NCDC, people who are most affected by COVID-19 are those that are adults or those that have co-morbidity, especially the elderly,” Shuaib said.
Speaking on the arrival of the vaccines, he said, “It is not our intention to postpone the arrival date of the vaccines, however any change in the delivery date will be properly communicated to Nigerians.”
He reiterated that the agency had the capacity to store and manage the vaccines, with the cold chain requirements of +2 to+8, adding that this aligns with the agency’s cold chain equipment used during polio.
He said, “The vaccines will be stored in working cold rooms at the national state and local levels. At LGA levels, the vaccine will be stored in vaccine refrigerator with solar direct-drive cold chain equipment.
“Approximately 7500 political wards have solar direct-drive cold chain equipment, and installation ongoing in other political wards that don’t have it.”
He said that the country was set to receive 4 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in the first batch of vaccines expected in the country.
According to him, this was part of the 16 million doses initially expected in the country.
He said, “We have been informed that four million out of the 16 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the first batch of supplies to the country.”