The National Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians against patronising fake COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, Director-General of NAFDAC, gave the warning while speaking at a virtual press conference on Friday.
Adeyeye noted that reports abound of fake COVID-19 vaccines already in circulation in the country, warning that such counterfeit medication could lead to loss of life.
She said: “There are reports of fake vaccines in Nigeria.
“NAFDAC is pleading with the public to beware. No Covid Vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC. Fake vaccines can cause Covid-like illnesses or other serious diseases that could kill.”
In a statement later issued on NAFDAC’s website, Adeyeye warned that no government agencies or companies should order COVID-19 vaccines without approval from NAFDAC.
According to her, ompanies that manufacture the vaccines “if they are genuine companies know they have to submit their application to NAFDAC”.
The statement read: “No government establishment or agencies should order COVID vaccines without confirming from NAFDAC if the vaccine has been approved.
“However, NAFDAC is discussing with manufacturers of candidate COVID-19 vaccines concerning potential Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), registration or licensing of their product as the case may be.
“The Agency assures applicants that if Phase 3 clinical data are very convincing and robust with regards to safety and efficacy, and the vaccine has been submitted for WHO for Emergency Use Listing, NAFDAC will welcome the application for Emergency Use Authorisation in Nigeria.”
Adeyeye also revealed the agency’s plans to “use the Traceability with GS1 technology to monitor the vaccine distribution using the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)”.
According to NAFDAC, the move is to prevent fake vaccines from infiltrating the supply chain and to ensure there is no diversion.
“This effort will create a reliable and predictable supply chain. The multi-stakeholder technical working group has been meeting to address different issues, from access to distribution to traceability (track and trace) of the vaccines to monitoring of adverse events following immunization,” the statement added.
Nigeria expects to receive 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine between January-February,
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 also announced earlier this week that it expects more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in the country by March, although it did not specify the brand of the vaccine.