The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians to be alert when COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine is being administered to them.
NAFDAC said the warning was imperative to ensure people did not risk being vaccinated with a harmful substance.
NAFDAC made this known in a statement signed by its Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, on Sunday, in Abuja.
In her statement, Adeyeye explained that the original Oxford Astrazeneca University (AZOU) vaccine, had been contracted to India’s world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SIIPL), to produce in large quantity.
Adeyeye said, “AZOU gave the licence of its vaccine to Serum Institute of India PVT Limited to manufacture this vaccine at a commercial scale. SIIPL is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world and the company got the licence by signing the manufacturing agreement.
“The SIIPL gave the vaccine the trade name COVISHIELD; it is the result of cooperation and a technology transfer from AstraZeneca – the University of Oxford to SIIPL.
“The SIIPL is now the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by a number of doses produced and sold globally; more than 1.5 billion doses, which include Polio vaccine, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps and Rubella.”
According to her, the vaccines manufactured by SIIPL were accredited by the World Health Organisation and were being used in about 170 countries across the globe in their national immunisation programme.
She said both COVISHIELD manufactured by SIIPL and COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca, manufactured by AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine are the same vaccine.
Adeyeye said ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 coronavirus vaccines (Recombinant), COVISHIELD, was granted Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organisation on February 15, and that it was one of the listed vaccines under the COVAX Facility.