NAFDAC approves AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for use in Nigeria

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In a bid to combat the spread of Covid-19 in the country, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for use in Nigeria.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, 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 responsible for Covid-19.

Speaking at a press conference held this morning, February 18, 2021, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, said the agency got some doses of the vaccine a week ago which the NAFDAC safety committee immediately assessed.

The NAFDAC boss added that the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8-degree centigrade, thus putting to rest concerns that Nigeria lacked storage facilities for this purpose.

She further noted that there were three additional vaccines undergoing evaluation, however, the assessment on AstraZeneca showed that the vaccine is effective against the UK variant of the virus which has been reported in Nigeria.

The South African variant has not been reported in Nigeria and at the moment, NAFDAC has over 30 herbal medicines undergoing review for listing, Mrs Adeyeye said.

Nigeria is expected to get the first batch of the COVID19 vaccines by the end of February.

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