COVID is once again on the rise in Nigeria and worldwide. In a scenario where the world has already seen and felt the outcomes of a serious pandemic, this threat is not something anyone takes lightly.
In fact, many countries have already started planning measures against the possibility. While in many countries the research for a cursor a better vaccine is over, others keep on investing in averting the risk.
However, since things can never be risk-free, countries are still importing vaccines on a large scale. This expense is surely not in vain because some countries in Asia and Africa have reported cases increasing.
The rate in, for instance, Pakistan and India have been rising with a new variant for some months. The healthcare authorities in Nigeria have also planned meetings and panel discussions on the possible impacts of another wave in Africa.
Nigeria was one of the most successful countries in combating the impacts of COVID. Not only did Nigeria fight with its mediocre healthcare and limited investment, but the government also sustained the economy in an appreciable manner.
Many countries in the west have regarded Nigeria as an exemplary policy-maker in this regard. And now with the threat looming again, Nigeria is becoming choosy with importing vaccines.
In a recent decision the healthcare authorities and National Primary Health Care Development Agency or NPHCDA passed, this was clear. Most of the vaccines that Nigeria is importing at the present moment have a short shelf life.
Now, this does encourage the quick distribution of the vaccines and there is a quick implementation of plans because the vaccines might expire otherwise. However, it also puts more pressure and time-constraint on the healthcare agencies.
If even a single batch of the vaccines is left and the authorities are not active enough, there are chances of a great loss. The losses are even more large scale if a country is not buying these doses at a subsidized rate.
The most common vaccine around the big cities of Lagos or Edo is the Johnson Johnson. This vaccine is one-dose and has a short shelf life. That means, it can very quickly go out of use and expire.
This might cause the health workers to be careless because they have to meet the target of giving the dose to people. Some junior health workers in the past were reported and punished for giving expired, 7-10 days old vaccines to people.
Therefore, the authorities now demand vaccines with a greater shelf life to prevent losses, both financial and health-related. The bigger reason for banning short shelf life vaccines entirely is that one million doses recently went down in the garbage.
That is, one million doses of vaccines expired suddenly and this came as a big loss to the authorities. The PSC or Presidential Steering Committee was specifically made during the pandemic. This committee again became operational and has now taken the final decision.