COVID 19 vaccine availability and distribution

The first human case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, was first reported by officials in Wuhan City, China, in December 2019. The disease as we all know has then gone on to become a global pandemic. About 96.2M cases have been confirmed globally with about 2.06M reported deaths as of January 15, 2021.

Nigeria reported her first case on the 27th of February 2020 and has since then had a total of about 115,000 cases with thousands of new cases springing up daily. 

In the later part of 2020, experts around the world announced that one of the ways of combating the virus is getting vaccinated and the minister of health in Nigeria announced that Nigeria is expected to receive its first doses of  COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021. 

A vaccine’s journey through the supply chain is complex. This is because most vaccines are sensitive to heat or light, they must be transported and stored under correct conditions to maintain their quality and potency.  Our portfolio company, Chisco Express excels in the aspect of cold chain logistics for delivery of vaccines and temperature-sensitive goods. They also make use of temperature monitoring devices which track location, as well as temperature and humidity for healthcare logistics, were required thus ensuring product integrity.

In this article, we will be exploring the types, storage, and administration of some COVID 19 vaccines available globally, after which we will then talk about how these factors affect the choice of the vaccine in Nigeria.


We will be discussing 5 Covid-19 vaccines 

  1. ​​​​Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, an mRNA vaccine developed in the USA
  2. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA Vaccine developed in the USA​​
  3. The Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine (adenovirus-vectored)
  4. The CoronaVac is a traditional method of the vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.
  5. Sputnik V, created by Russians, was the first registered vaccine against COVID 19.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorised the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for emergency use(EUA).

The Moderna vaccine was the second vaccine issued for emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK has also authorised the Moderna vaccine for use.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Indonesia’s food and drug agency has approved the CoronaVac making them the first to approve the vaccine outside China.

The Russian government has approved its Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, the fist registered vaccine against COVID-19, for general use.


The Pfizer vaccine is shipped via thermal shippers utilizing dry ice to maintain recommended storage temperature conditions of -70°C±10°C for up to 10 days unopened.

The Moderna vaccine may be stored in a freezer between -25°C and -15°C (-13°F and 5°F) OR in the refrigerator between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F) for up to 30 days before vials are punctured.

Unlike Pfizer’s jab, which has to be kept at a freezing temperature (-70C),  the Oxford vaccine can be stored in a normal fridge. The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled for at least six months at 2-8 degrees Celsius (35-46F)

One of Sinovac CoronaVac’s main advantages is that it can be stored in a standard refrigerator at 2-8 degrees Celsius, like the Oxford vaccine.

Sputnik V must be stored at minus 18 degrees Celsius (minus 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or below. However, a freeze-dried version can be stored at normal fridge temperatures of 2-8C (36-46F), according to the manufacturers.


Infrastructure and distribution status issues in the country are very much germane to maintaining the quality of the vaccines to the delivery end-point (actual vaccination). We are aware of the local gaps that will surely create a logistic nightmare and these have to be properly addressed by the Ministry of Health before any attempt to deploy. 

How our portfolio company, Chisco Express is solving this

Given the current climate, it is so critical that the cold chain logistics industry functions efficiently and reliably. Chisco Express is a tech-enabled air and ground logistics company that specialises in the transport of food, medical supplies, drinks and other essential goods across Africa. 

Chisco Express also has a specialist medical logistics division. This division works to transport cold-chain drugs and vaccines using real-time monitoring interface which helps to set a temperature range alarm that ensures the items never go beyond the preset temperatures.

To learn more about the services that Chisco Express can offer you can, visit their website or contact their business development manager. 



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