The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) approved three additional COVID-19 vaccines for use in Nigeria.
The agency said that its vaccine committee had recommended Moderna (Rovi Pharma Madrid, Spain); AstraZeneca AZD1222 (South Korea Bioscience Co Limited); Sputnik V (Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Russia) for emergency use.
Meanwhile, the agency added that following observations of some avoidable effects during vaccination, it has recommended that health officials carry out preliminary checks on individual’s health status before administering the vaccine on anyone.
NAFDAC had earlier granted emergency use authorisation approval for Astrazeneca from India, Pfizer Bio-N-Tech and Johnson and Johnson (Jassen) vaccines to be deployed in the country against COVID-19.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC Director-General, said that the agency was the first national regulatory body in Africa to have guidance on regulatory preparedness for Emergency Use Authorisations (EUA), licensing or access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The DG said: “NAFDAC is announcing the approval of Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines and conditional approval of Sputnik V vaccine.
“The NAFDAC Vaccine Committee has been carefully assessing several vaccines despite the fact the vaccines have been approved by stringent regulatory countries or have received WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL). A COVID-19 vaccine that has gone through the prior approval from either of these two sources had gone through quality, safety and efficacy evaluation, which is a prerequisite for acceptance by COVAX Facility.”
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye also added that most regulatory agencies across the world use this mechanism to expedite their own regulatory approval to import and administer COVID-19 vaccines.
“The agency did a thorough assessment of each vaccine and were found to have the quality, safety and efficacy attributes, with the benefits far outweighing the risks,” she stated.
According to her, the agency spends at least 15 days to examine the dossier or submission package of the vaccine to ensure that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks and that any side effects are well noted for monitoring after vaccination by the respective NAFDAC and primary health officers.
She added that the EUL will allow Nigeria to receive supplies of the vaccines from the COVAX facility.