Thursday, June 17, 2021

We’ll administer COVID-19 vaccine without clinical trial: NAFDAC

NMA said last week that indigenous clinical trials were expedient in light of disparities in environmental and genetic composition.

• January 3, 2021
NAFDAC office used to illustrate the story

Nigeria’s regulatory body for food and drug administration, NAFDAC, has said the planned roll-out of coronavirus vaccines expected to commence this month, will not be subjected to fresh clinical trials before they are administered to Nigerians.

A spokesman at the federal agency, Sayo Akintola, told The Punch that local trials for the vaccine were unnecessary as they had already been 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 stage of the trial,” Mr. Akintola said in a recent chat with the media outlet. “It is a known fact that for the WHO to sanction a vaccine, it must have gone through a series of trial here and there.”

The NAFDAC official disclosed that a sample of the vaccine will, nonetheless, be taken to the lab for its “safety and efficacy” to be ascertained before inoculation.

The Nigerian Medical Association had urged the country’s health authorities to conduct fresh clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines procured from foreign firms, having expressed fears that the developers may not have considered trial participants from Africa during initial trials.

NMA president, Innocent Ujah, said last week that indigenous clinical trials were expedient in light of disparities in environmental and genetic composition.

At least 20 million Nigerians are expected to be vaccinated against the viral infection when the first shipment of the vaccines arrive Nigeria later this month.

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