By Asmau Ahmad
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it has not approved any COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
The agency’s Director General, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.
She stated that the agency had not received any application from vaccine manufacturers; therefore, no vaccine had been approved by the NAFDAC.
“There are reports of fake vaccines in Nigeria; NAFDAC is pleading with the public to beware. COVID-19 vaccines are new, and the side effects must be monitored.
“No COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC. Fake vaccines can cause COVID-like illnesses or other serious diseases that can kill,” Prof. Adeyeye warned.
The director general restated the commitment of the agency toward guaranteeing drugs security and warned companies and corporate bodies against unapproved ordering of vaccines.
She noted that genuine manufacturing companies had to submit applications to NAFDAC first, “No government establishment or agencies should order for COVID-19 vaccines without confirming from NAFDAC.
“However, NAFDAC is discussing with manufacturers of candidate COVID-19 vaccines concerning potential Emergency Use Authourisation (EUA), registration or licencing of their products as the case may be.”
Adeyeye, however, assured applicants of NAFDAC’s determination to approve vaccines for emergency use if phase three clinical data were convincing and robust with regards to safety and efficacy, and the vaccine had been submitted for World Health Organisation (WHO) emergency use listing.
She emphasised the commitment of NAFDAC in using “Reliance” or “Recognition” to expedite Emergency Use Authourisation (EUA) for vaccines already approved by mature regulatory authorities.
“The full dossiers submitted by manufacturer or Market Authourisation Holder (MAH) will be thoroughly reviewed by the Vaccine Committee that is made up of multiple directorates in the agency.”
The NAFDAC boss, who said that the agency would welcome the application for Emergency Use Authorisation in Nigeria, however, reiterated readiness to examine the safety of any vaccine.
She affirmed the collaboration of NAFDAC with sister agencies as National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), UNICEF, WHO and Ministry of Health, aimed at achieving holistic approach for effective immunisation and delivery.