The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has raised alarm over reports of fake COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
The Director-General of the agency, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, disclosed this during a virtual media briefing yesterday January 15, PUNCH gathers.
She warned that fake vaccines have started circulating in the country and urged Nigerians not to purchase such drugs as they can cause COVID-19-like illnesses and can lead to death. The agency added that it has not received any application from COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers and has not approved any vaccine.
In her words:
“The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has not received any application from Covid Vaccine manufacturers yet and therefore no vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC.
Covid-19 vaccines are new, and the side effects or adverse events must be well monitored, therefore, if NAFDAC does not approve, the public should not use.
There are reports of fake vaccines in Nigeria. NAFDAC is pleading with the public to beware.
No Covid Vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC. Fake vaccines can cause Covid-like illnesses or other serious diseases that could kill.
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.
No government establishment or agencies should order Covid vaccines without confirming from NAFDAC if the vaccine has been approved.”
The agency, however, said it is discussing with manufactures of COVID-19 vaccines concerning potential Emergency Use Authorisation, registration or licensing of their product.
NAFDAC assures applicants that if Phase 3 clinical data are very convincing and robust and the vaccine has been submitted to WHO for Emergency Use Listing, NAFDAC will welcome the application for Emergency Use Authorisation in Nigeria.
“NAFDAC will use ‘Reliance’ or ‘Recognition’ to expedite Emergency Use Authorisation for vaccines already approved by more matured regulatory authorities.
“The full dossier submitted by the manufacturer or Market Authorisation Holder will be thoroughly reviewed by the Vaccine Committee that is made up of multiple Directorates in the Agency – Drug Registration and Regulatory Affairs, Drug Evaluation and Research, Pharmacovigilance and Post Marketing Surveillance, Drug, Biologics and Vaccines Laboratory Services,”
NAFDAC added that the safety of COVID-19 vaccine is premium to the agency.
“This is why active pharmacovigilance is being used. Phase four pharmacovigilance is one of the core regulatory activities of the agency.
“For COVID-19 vaccines, the Agency has been preparing for the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination since the early phase of the pandemic – around April 2020. NAFDAC was positioned to a great extent to work online during the lockdown due to digitalization of many of our processes and continuous improvement.
“Despite the use of Reliance for the EUA, NAFDAC will note clinical peculiarities in form of Serious or Adverse Events Following Immunisation in the dossier or application as a guide and caution for what to look out for in each subject after immunization, i.e., during the active pharmacovigilance phase where monitoring of adverse events will be conducted. The Agency has been training her staff for this very important aspect of the immunisation.
“The Agency established COVID-19 Vaccine Committee that has been busy developing the guidelines and guidance. NAFDAC is the first National Regulatory Agency in Africa to have Guidance on Regulatory Preparedness for EUA, Licensing or Access to COVID-19 Vaccines,”