"COVID-19 vaccines are new, and the side effects or adverse events must be well monitored, therefore, if NAFDAC does not approve, the public should not use."
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has cautioned Nigerians over 'fake coronavirus vaccines' in the country, explaining that no vaccines have been approved by the agency.
The Director-General of the agency, Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known in a statement on Friday, stressing that Nigerians should not use any vaccines not approved by it.
"The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has not received any application from Covid Vaccine manufacturers yet and therefore no vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC.
"COVID-19 vaccines are new, and the side effects or adverse events must be well monitored, therefore, if NAFDAC does not approve, the public should not use," Mrs Adeyeye said.
The agency cautioned Nigerians and other residents to beware of the vaccines, explaining that it can cause coronavirus-like illness and other serious disease that could kill
"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."
The agency warned companies and corporations not to order for the vaccines, stressing that if the manufacturers are genuine companies, they ought to know that they have to submit their application to the agency.
"Vaccines should not be ordered by any company or corporation. The companies that manufacture the vaccines if they are genuine companies know they have to submit their application to NAFDAC."
Mrs Adeyeye declared that no government establishment or agency should order for the vaccines without confirming from the agency 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."
Nigeria is set to receive about 100,000 free COVID-19 vaccines this month based on a COVAX arrangement put in place by the World Health Organisation and its partners. Mrs Adeyeye's statement thus implies that even that WHO approved vaccine must be approved by NAFDAC for it to be used in Nigeria.
Nigeria has recorded over 100,000 COVID-19 cases with over 80,000 people recovering after treatment. The country is currently experiencing the second wave of the virus with more infections being recorded in the past month than at any other time.