Ministry of Health says WHO did not disqualify Nigeria from global vaccine bid

The federal ministry of health has disputed stories that appeared in some media publications saying Nigeria was disqualified from the World Health Organisation-led COVAX global initiative for the Pfizer vaccines following the country’s inability to meet the standard requirement of being able to store the vaccines at the required -70 degrees Celsius.

This was contained in a series of tweets on the official handle of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, an agency under the federal ministry of health.

In one of the tweets, a screenshot of the link to the story on both Punch and Sahara Reporters was attached with the caption ‘Kindly disregard this story, as it is a distortion of the information at the WHO Press Conference’.

The Punch had reported that “the Director, WHO, African Region, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said only four African countries were shortlisted for the Pfizer vaccine out of the 13 that applied. Moeti said the WHO could not risk the Pfizer vaccines being wasted”.

The newspaper further reported that She said, “Around 320,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been allocated to four African countries – Cape Verde, Rwanda, South Africa and Tunisia. This vaccine has received WHO Emergency Use Listing but requires countries to be able to store and distribute doses at minus 70 degrees Celsius”.

But the NPHCDA has labeled the Punch story and a similar story that appeared on Sahara Reporters as false and shared a link to what Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said in her press briefing


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