The National Agency for food and drug administration, NAFDAC, has said the planned roll-out of coronavirus vaccines in Nigeria, expected to begin in January will not be subjected to fresh clinical trials before they are administered to citizens.
The spokesman of the agency, Sayo Akintola, who made this known during an interview with newsmen said local trials for the vaccine were unnecessary since the vaccine was already certified by the World Health Organisation.
“The truth is that once a vaccine is approved by the WHO, it is assumed that it has passed through some preliminary stages of the trial.
“It is a known fact that for the WHO to sanction a vaccine, it must have gone through a series of trials here and there,” he said.
He, however, explained that a sample of the vaccine will be taken to the lab for its “safety and efficacy” to be ascertained before inoculation.
Recall that the Nigeria Medical Association had asked the federal government to do its evaluation of the COVID-19 vaccine before administering it on Nigerians.
But with NAFDAC’s position, Nigeria’s health authorities may very well proceed with vaccinations, trusting WHO’s expertise.
If the vaccine eventually arrives in the country, about 40 million Nigerians may receive it for free.
This is as earlier disclosed by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, following President Buhari’s directive to proceed with procurement arrangements.