COVID-19: Why Nigeria May Snub Vaccines from China

COVID-19: Why Nigeria May Snub Vaccines from China

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Nigeria might not be looking at manufacturers from China in her current efforts at licensing some COVID-19 Vaccines for the first quarter of 2021.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, explained last Wednesday to media journalists.  The Director-General said that health regulator is yet to receive any data on shots being produced by any Chinese company, in comparison with the information published by Western firms such as Pfizer, Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc.

Read Also: COVID-19 Vaccine: How Soon Can Local Researchers Deliver Efficient Shots?

In the Director-General words: ‘We don’t know much about the vaccine from China. If it has been tested in the public arena, in the scientific arena, if it has been submitted to WHO. Yes, we will consider any product from China if we receive adequate information.’

Prof Adeyeye explained that Nigeria is redoubling efforts to license at least one of the vaccines under development globally for Coronavirus by April 2021. “We are looking at the end of the first quarter of next year or the beginning of the second quarter to approve a shot for use in Nigeria” she stressed.

Adeyeye also revealed that Nigeria will benefit from the World Health Organisation (WHO) -backed Covax initiative, which is working to improve access to vaccines for 92 low and medium-income countries.

She equally disclosed that the Covax partnership will ensure the supply of vaccines for 20% of the population of each partnering.

“Nigeria will need to procure theirs from whichever company they want or whichever company NAFDAC certifies” to meet the needs of the remaining 70 of the population.

Presently, she revealed, NAFDAC has introduced guidelines to accelerate the licensing of COVID-19 vaccines that have already been approved by regulators, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Adeyeye also added that though vaccine manufacturers are yet to submit applications to NAFDAC, Nigerian officials had met with Pfizer Inc and makers of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine several months ago even when they were starting their Phase III clinical trials.

Photo Credit: Punchng

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