With the desperate and urgent need for a cure and prevention from infections and symptoms of covid-19, many countries, medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies have manufactured series of vaccines and curative drugs for these purposes.
The questions and fears in the minds of many citizens includes some of the following; How effective and authentic are these medications? What are the various side effects if any? More importantly, has there been any form of approval by the legal and appropriate authorities? Finally, how do individuals detect the authentic ones from the fake since dubious manufacturers and marketers would try to take advantage of the situation and put out a prototype or fake version of these vaccines and medications?
While the above questions are raving in the minds of many, NAFDAC have purportedly warned Nigerians in the light of the above to be careful and discrete in patronage of these so-called vaccines and medications.
“COVID-19 vaccines are new, and the side effects or adverse effects must be well monitored, therefore, if NAFDAC does not approve, the public should not use.”
The above warning from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned Nigerians over ‘fake corona virus vaccines’ in the country, explaining that no vaccines have been approved by the agency.
This information was made known to the general public by the Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, on Friday, in a statement wherein she stressed that Nigerians should not use any vaccines not approved by it.
According to the Director-General, of NAFDAC,
“The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has not received any application from COVID-19 Vaccine manufacturers yet and therefore no vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC.
The agency cautioned Nigerians and other residents to beware of the vaccines, explaining that it can cause corona virus-like illness and other serious disease that could kill
“There are reports of fake vaccines in Nigeria. NAFDAC is pleading with the public to beware. No COVID-19 Vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC. Fake vaccines can cause COVID-19-like illnesses or other serious diseases that could kill.”
The agency warned companies and corporations not to order for the vaccines, stressing that if the manufacturers are genuine companies, they ought to know that they have to submit their application to the agency.
“Vaccines should not be ordered by any company or corporation. The companies that manufacture the vaccines if they are genuine companies know they have to submit their application to NAFDAC.”
The agency further advised that no government establishment or agency should order for the vaccines without confirming from the agency if the vaccine has been approved.
“However, NAFDAC is discussing with manufacturers of candidate COVID-19 vaccines concerning potential Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), registration or licensing of their product as the case may be.
“The Agency assures applicants that if Phase 3 clinical data are very convincing and robust with regards to safety and efficacy, and the vaccine has been submitted for WHO for Emergency Use Listing, NAFDAC will welcome the application for Emergency Use Authorisation in Nigeria.”
Reports have been disclosed that Nigeria is set to receive about 100,000 free COVID-19 vaccines this month based on a COVAX arrangement put in place by the World Health Organisation and its partners.
From the statements of Mrs Adeyeye, it implies that even when WHO approves certain vaccine it must be thoroughly scrutinized by NAFDAC for it to be used in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has recorded over 100,000 COVID-19 cases with over 80,000 people recovering after treatment. The country is currently experiencing the second wave of the virus with more infections being recorded in the past month than at any other time.
With the efforts of NAFDAC and a reasonable partnership with renowned pharmaceutical industries and with the strict monitoring of the appropriate authorities, hopefully Nigerians would be well catered for in her bid to control and reduce infections and transmission of the corona virus.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese