Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mojisola Adeyeye, has said in a year’s time, Nigeria would start manufacturing its own locally made COVID-19 vaccines.
Speaking on Arise News, she said presently, the Federal Government has invested in an unnamed local production company which would soon commence the manufacturing of the vaccines so that more Nigerians would be able to get vaccinated.
She said only about two percent of Nigeria’s population has been vaccinated against the infection and that efforts are ongoing to ensure vaccine production begins locally.
“COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that less than two percent of our population are vaccinated right now and that is health insecurity. In terms of local manufacturing, the government is working to ensure there would be local manufacturing within a year or starting of local manufacturing within a year.
“The government has a public/private partnership with a local company and the Federal Government has 49 percent share with this company, so it is putting a lot of support to start manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines. It is going to happen also because without a strong regulatory agency, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will not certify any manufacturing facility. As we speak, NAFDAC is moving very closer to get to the maturity level that is needed for Nigeria to be able to manufacture its own vaccines and the government is funding NAFDAC on this.
“The Chinese government promised Nigeria some vaccines but it has not arrived. The dossier has been sent to us and we are studying it. Once we have approved it, when it gets in, we will test it like any other vaccines that we have gotten and if it passes, it would be available for people to get it but right now, we don’t have the vaccines in the country.
“Since the pandemic, we have listed about 42 herbal medicines for listing for temporary approval. You cannot say it cures COVID-19 but you can say it relieves symptoms of this or that. It is until we do the clinical trial, we cannot say it cures anything because it has to come with a high level of statistical confidence. We know it may cure but it has not been documented. About two or three are going through clinical trials right now and it cost a lot of money that is why the Central Bank of Nigeria is intervening by putting in a lot of money into this intervention schemes,” she said.