03 Aug 2021, 8:47 AM (GMT)

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COVID-19: NAFDAC Approves AstraZeneca Vaccine

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday approved the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in Nigeria.

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 2 to 8-degree centigrade.

In the broadcast, the NAFDAC Boss said there are three additional vaccines undergoing evaluation, but the evaluation on Astrazeneca shows that the vaccine is effective against the UK variant of the virus which has been reported in Nigeria.

Dr Adeyeye revealed that the South African variant has not been reported in Nigeria, adding that the agency has over 30 herbal medicines undergoing review for listing.

The vaccine was recently approved by the W.H.O for emergency use, in a press briefing, NAFDAC says it got the dossier of the vaccine a week ago, and the NAFDAC 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).

It is only the second COVID-19 jab to have received WHO authorisation, after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“The WHO  listed two versions of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through Covax,” the UN health agency said in a statement.

The two versions given the seal of approval are being produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), and by SKBio in South Korea.

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