The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for the management of the pandemic in Nigeria.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had recently approved the vaccine for emergency use.
But NAFDAC did not carry out any local trial.
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Mojisola Adeyeye, made the announcement during a live briefing on Thursday.
She said that the vaccine can be stored at between +2°C to +8°C.
Adeyeye said there were three additional vaccines undergoing evaluation, noting that the evaluation of AstraZeneca shows that the vaccine is effective against the UK variant of the virus, which had been reported in Nigeria.
The DG noted that the South African variant of the virus has not been reported in Nigeria, adding that the agency has over 30 herbal medicines also undergoing review for listing.
Adeyeye said the agency got the vaccine’s dossier a week ago, and that its safety committee went to work immediately to evaluate its safety and efficacy for Nigerians.
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).