NIGERIA’S National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac) has announced that it leveraging technology to trace vaccines in the hope that it will be able to assist local companies to start manufacturing when the Covid-19 vaccine arrives.
Medical experts have warned that Nigeria needs to set aside N540.4bn ($1.4bn) to purchase 218.m doses of the new coronavirus vaccine if the nation wants to combat the growing second wave of the pandemic currently sweeping across the globe. According to the World health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria will require about $1.4bn to procure and distribute 218,400,000 doses of Covid-19 for double doses for 60% of its population.
It is expected that the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Nigeria before the end of this year and according to Nafdac director-general Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, this will herald the start of an indigenous manufacturing programme. She added that achieving ISO 9001 in June 2019, which is the world’s most recognised quality management system standard kept Nigeria in good standing to get to the maturity level three which enables manufacturing of its own vaccines.
According to Professor Adeyeye, the agency is leveraging technology to trace vaccines, especially when the Covid-19 vaccines arrive the country. Speaking during Nafdac’s staff award ceremony, she explained that this will enable the agency track and trace vaccines received by patients to ensure that they are safe and monitored for adverse reactions on patients.
Professor Adeyeye said: “With regards to the establishment of the World Health Organisation’s global benchmarking and adoption of international best practices, we want to get to the maturity level three so that Nigeria can manufacture her own vaccines and we are all working on this every day. Our laboratories are changing very rapidly with improvements in new equipment and supplies.
“Our four laboratories that were accredited before I came have received re-accreditation. We have also gotten a new lab – the Yaba Biologies and Vaccines Lab accredited for the first time and our two other labs will be accredited very soon.”
She pointed out that the agency’s laboratories were being upgraded to international standards using equipment that were compliant to ISO 17025. It is not yet clear if any of the global pharmaceutical companies have plans to manufacture the Covid-19 vaccine in Nigeria for distribution across Africa.