Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Prof. Moji Adeyeye says the agency has approved the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine for use in Nigeria.
She made the announcement Thursday morning in a live briefing held in Abuja, saying the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8-degree centigrade.
The World Health Organization (WHO) gave emergency use approval to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, allowing distribution to some of the world’s poorest countries to begin.
NAFDAC DG says it got the dossier of the vaccine a week ago, and the agency’s safety committee went to work immediately to evaluate its safety and efficacy for Nigerians.
Adeyeye however explained that three other vaccines are currently undergoing evaluation by her safety team in addition to the over 30 herbal medicines under review for listing by the agency.
She said the evaluation on Astrazeneca shows that the vaccine is effective against the United Kingdom variant of the virus which has been reported in Nigeria.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or AZD1222, is a viral vector vaccine. Scientists used an adenovirus, originally derived from chimpanzees, and modified it with the aim of training the immune system to mount a strong response against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19)
With the emergency use approval granted the AstraZeneca vaccine in Nigeria, it becomes the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in the country.