The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the use of United Kingdom vaccine, AstraZeneca, for the treatment of Nigerians coronavirus-positive patients, in order to flatten the virus curve.
NAFDAC said that the vaccine, Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as AZD1222, was approved after the completion of an evaluation of its safety and efficacy on Nigerians.
The approval by the agency came days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved the viral vector vaccine for emergency treatment of COVID-19.
In the vaccine, scientists used an adenovirus, originally derived from chimpanzees, and modified it with the aim of training the immune system to mount a strong response against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).
Announcing the approval, the Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Mojisola Adeyeye, at a news briefing on Thursday, said that the vaccine could be stored at 2 to 8-degree centigrade.
According to the NAFDAC Boss, there are three additional vaccines undergoing evaluation, but the evaluation on Astrazeneca shows that the vaccine is effective against the UK variant of the virus which has been reported in Nigeria.
Adeyeye disclosed that the South African variant has not been reported in Nigeria, adding that the agency has over 30 herbal medicine undergoing review for listing.