The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday approved Pfizer-BionTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, at a press briefing at its headquarters in Lagos.
She clarified that the approval given was not a full one, pointing out however that it would be in effect within the period of getting people vaccinated and gathering data about the adverse effects following immunisation.
Adeyeye also revealed that the agency relied on a more mature regulatory body for its approval, adding that NAFDAC was at liberty to review its stance since the World Health Organisation (WHO) had given emergency use listing.
She said, “The purpose of the press briefing is to announce that NAFDAC has just approved Pfizer-BionTech vaccines for possible use in Nigeria.
“They were reviewed carefully by the NAFDAC staff COVID-19 vaccine committee to make sure that the science behind the development is well understood and in accord with our world regulatory activities.
“We used different mechanisms to approve the vaccine. We used reliance, meaning that a more mature regulatory agency across the globe, we can use that as a basis for our review.
“We will get the assessment report, know the peculiarity there, then our COVID-19 committee will get to do their job.”
NAFDAC had earlier approved AstraZeneca vaccine for use in Nigeria.
Nigeria commenced its vaccination programme against the novel Coronavirus last month with 3.924m doses of AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
According to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, over one million doses of the vaccine have so far been administered across the country in the first phase of the vaccination programme.
Over 160,000 Covid infections and more than 2,000 associated deaths have been recorded in the country in the last one year, according to statistics by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).