The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has advised Nigerians to ensure the Astrazeneca vaccine being administered on them had the original label.
The agency said the warning was imperative to ensure people did not risk being vaccinated with fake Astrazeneca vaccine.
The position of NAFDAC is contained in a statement signed by the agency’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, on Sunday, March 21, in Abuja.
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.
“AZOU gave the license of its vaccine to Serum Institute of India PVT Ltd, (SIIPL), to manufacture this vaccine at a commercial scale. SIIPL is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world; and also the company got the license by signing the manufacturing agreement.
“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.
“SIIPL is now the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by the 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, as well as Rubella,” she said.
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The NAFDAC DG added that the vaccines manufactured by SIIPL were accredited by the World Health Organisation (WHO); and were also being used in about 170 countries across the globe in their national immunisation programme.
She added that both COVISHIELD manufactured by SIIPL; and COVID-19 vaccine Astrazeneca likewise manufactured by AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine is the same vaccine.
According to Adeyeye, ChAdOx1 nCoV- 19 coronavirus vaccines (Recombinant), COVISHIELD, was granted Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organisation on Feb.15; and that it was also one of the listed vaccines under the COVAX Facility