NAFDAC Concludes Final Test, Certifies AstraZeneca Vaccines Safe For Use In Nigeria
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified the AstraZeneca vaccine safe for use in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, announced this on Friday at an event held at the National Hospital in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He explained that the government agency cleared the vaccine for use in the country after it concluded its final test on it.
“The long-awaited day is here on which Nigerians can now join others in the global community to be vaccinated against the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
“For us in the health sector, it is a relief and the marking of the start of a tedious but hopeful exercise to see our fellow citizens develop immunity against this virus,” he told the gathering at the event.
Ehanire added, “I am also relieved again to announce that at 12 minutes past midnight today (Friday), I got a text message informing me that NAFDAC has certified this vaccine for use, otherwise we will not be sitting here today.”
Amid the rising figure of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the fight against the outbreak received a major boost on Tuesday as Nigeria took delivery of its first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX, a World Health Organisation (WHO)-backed initiative set up to procure and ensure equitable distribution of vaccines for free among countries across the world.
The first shipment of 3,924,000 doses of the vaccines arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Tuesday afternoon via an Emirates airplane from India.
In preparation for the distribution, the Federal Government had said the vaccines would be administered in the order of priority, with the frontline health workers on the top of the list.
It noted that it would also consider the elderly and the strategic leaders in the country – such as the President and other key public office holders in the country.