The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has received dossiers for Chinese vaccine and three others for evaluation amid the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this while addressed reporters in Abuja on Monday, February 15, 2021, during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
He identified the COVID-19 vaccines as Sinopharm Vaccine of China, Sputnik V vaccine of Russia, Covishield or Astra Zeneca manufactured under license by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat vaccines of India.
The Minister stressed that all COVID-19 vaccines carry a certain amount of risk and any vaccine not approved by the Federal Ministry of Health through its Agencies cannot be used in Nigeria; adding that: “Government will not be responsible for the safety or efficacy of vaccines given outside the framework of the Government. All the needs of Nigeria have been carefully calculated by NPHCDA and it is possible to accommodate all interests in the framework.”
Dr Ehanire also announced the donation of 100,000 AstraZeneca or covishield vaccine doses by the Indian government.
Speaking on the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, the Minister said the Health Ministry is closely monitoring the situation and other disease of public health concern.
He explained that “Nigeria’s Port Health Services have been put on alert on land, sea, Air borders and all major Hospitals have also been put on notice to alert health workers to have a keen index of suspicion and to check patient travel history, especially at Outpatient Departments, and report concerns to infectious disease focal persons and the State epidemiologists without hesitation.”
According to him, stricter infection prevention and control measures, including Personal Protective measures, must be taken immediately there is reason to suspect.
He noted that “Nigeria is willing to send experienced volunteers from our Centres of Excellence on Viral haemmorrhagic fever, to support WHO measures to contain Ebola resurgence in our West African sub-region. It is important to protect the sub-region from the catastrophic burden of dealing with two severe diseases of public health concern.”