The World Health Organisation (WHO) has explained why Nigeria was not included among the countries to receive the Pfizer vaccine in Africa.
Matshidiso moeti, the Regional director of the world health organisatio (WHO) said only four out of the 13 countries in Africa were shortlisted to have the Pfizer vaccine first through COVAX.
COVAX, Is a mechanism backed by WHO for distributing vaccine to the developing countries.
He made this known to the public on Thursday at a press briefing on COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Africa. Moeti said the countries are Cabo Verde, Rwanda, South Africa and Tunisia.
She said the countries were picked base of evaluation by a multi-agency committee based on current mortality rates, new cases and trends, and the capacity to handle the ultra-cold chain needs of the vaccine.
In another development, the Nigeria WHO representative Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu, during a briefing on Saturday in Abuja, said the global health body did not disqualify Nigeria for any reason.
He explained that COVAX decided to replace the initial 100,000 doses of Pfizer with 16 million doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine.
He stated that issues around population, fatalities from COVID-19 were some of the considerations the Selection Committee used in choosing which country received which vaccine.
The WHO representative in Nigeria, revealed that Nigeria will receive the Pfizer vaccine as supplies increases, adding that the Astrazeneca vaccine, which is more in supply, will meet more of the needs in Nigeria.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Babatunde Salako, in an interview with Punch Newspaper, In January, said the country does not have enough freezers to store the Pfizer vaccine.
The COVID -19 Pfizer vaccine most be stored at the ultra-cold temperature of -70°C.
In another development, salako’s interview with journalists some days ago, gave a tour of the National Strategic Cold Store in Abuja.