National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday said it has met the World Health Organisation (WHO) requirement for vaccine production.
The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof Moji Adeyeye, disclosed this in Abuja at the ministerial briefing on COVID-19 update in Abuja.
She said the number came up through self audit and that was in January 2018, adding that through the self-audit, the agency found out that the template that the WHO gave had 868 conditions to meet and by October 15, 2021, NAFDAC had met the conditions.
She, however, said that WHO has to come physically to work through the agency’s facilities and to pronounce that NAFDAC have reached maturity level. She said that will not be too far from now.
“Without prematurity level three, Nigeria will not be able to manufacture vaccines. The journey towards WHO global benchmarking maturity level three started in January 2018 when WHO gave the agency 868 recommendations to meet before being recognised for prematurity level three.
“As of October 15 2021, Nigeria has no other recommendations to meet. Nigeria is closer now to manufacturing her own vaccine, and it will no longer be because it has no regulatory agency. Attaining the global benchmark would not have been possible without some in country measures by the agency.
“The global bench has some eight functions; they are laboratory testing, market authorisation, market control , regulatory inspection, and vigilance among others.
“We were asked to expand our laboratory. We have expanded the drug lab in Yaba and the vaccine lab is being built.”
In terms of a new standard regarding vaccine production, Adeyeye explained that medical science is not static. “We produced yellow fever vaccines before in Nigeria, the rules have changed and the rule is that anybody that wants to produce a malaria vaccine must have a strong regulatory body. That is why we had so many recommendations that we have been working on to meet.”