BY PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA, Abuja and Royal Ibeh, Lagos
Reactions have trailed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC’s) approval for the use of AstraZeneca vaccine to be used in Nigeria.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was recently approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Director-general of NAFDAC Prof Mojosola Adeyeye who announced the approval during a press briefing in Abuja said the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8-degree centigrade. She added that the vaccine dossier was received by NAFDAC from Serum Institute of India last week.
Adeyeye said the agency vaccine committee commenced the expedited review immediately they received it noting that a lot of efforts are being put into the regulatory function the vaccine safety is premium to the Agency.
Meanwhile, the federal government and WHO Nigeria have said Nigeria was expecting 16 million doses out of the 88 million AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine doses allocated to African countries for the first phase by end of February.
Reacting to the development, the chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Lagos chapter, Dr Adetunji Adenekan, commended the federal government and NAFDAC for approving the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying it is long overdue.
Also, Professor and Head of Department, Pharmaceutical Technology and Raw Materials Development, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) Prof Martins Emeje, told LEADERSHIP that: “I believe NAFDAC has a competent leadership and I want to believe that the Agency has looked at the dossier.
A consultant at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Prof Olukemi Fasanmade commended NAFDAC for the approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine adding that 50 per cent protection from the vaccine is better than nothing.
For NAFDAC to have approved the use of AstraZeneca vaccine, Professor and Consultant Medical Parasitologist at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Prof Wellington Oyibo said the Agency must have done the necessary study to ensure that the vaccine is safe for use and the country has the facilities to preserve the vaccine.