‘Nigeria to begin local production of COVID-19 vaccines by end of 2022’

HEALTHDIGEST– The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said all is set for Nigeria to begin local production of vaccines by the end of this year.

Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, the Director General, NAFDAC, on Tuesday, at a media parley with Health and News Editors, in Lagos, made the announcement.

Adeyeye said a survey carried out in 11 states showed that nine to 10 per cent of anti-malarial drugs in circulation were fake and substandard. however, the agency had begun a bigger study and procured a $2.4 million device to detect the quantity and quality of active ingredients in medicines.

“We are working day and night to make sure that by the end of the year, we start manufacturing of vaccines. That doesn’t mean that we will produce completely developed vaccine.”

“we are working on local manufacture of vaccines. NAFDAC is part and parcel of it, and we are looking forward to a very bright future in terms of starting manufacturing. Whether we are using modular laboratory to begin with, which is Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) ready. It is like a mobile home that is already fitted to be able to start quickly. Whether we are using that or the traditional that will take longer time, but I am thinking that very likely, we will start with the modular vaccine lab”

The DG said the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had gone through different pathways and still on the process for the project to see light of day.

“But the Federal Government also has a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Biovaccines or with May and Baker rather to form Biovaccines. The government has 49 per cent and May and Baker has 51 per cent. The goal is to be able to manufacture vaccines and this arrangement started long time ago. So, it is not just because of COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), last week, announced that Nigeria and Egypt have joined Ghana and Tanzania as effective regulatory systems in Africa.

It explained that the two new entrants’ medical products regulatory agencies had achieved Maturity Level 3 which means that these national bodies have been found to function well and could be eligible for inclusion into the transitional WHO Listed Authorities— a list that comprises the world’s regulators of reference – that is regulatory authorities – that should be globally recognised as meeting international standards.

(The Guardian)