The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has assured Nigerians that it will continue to provide vital information relating to the AstraZeneca vaccine recently approved for the treatment of COVID-19.
The Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
The NAFDAC recently approved the vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India, to tackle the coronavirus disease ravaging many parts of the world.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had said that the vaccine would be made available to Nigeria before the end of February.
Adeyeye was reacting to questions making rounds on whether the vaccine, when made available, could be given to pregnant and lactating women, the aged and those below 18 years.
Nigerians also wanted to know if people with health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, among others, could take the vaccine.
While approving the vaccine on Feb. 18, Adeyeye said the vaccine had been scrutinised for holistic approach for effective immunisation by the NAFDAC Vaccine Committee.
The director general, however, added that the vaccine was only approved for “Emergency Use Authorisation”, meaning that the product was still under development.
She said that information on whether breastfeeding or pregnant women could also take the vaccine had not yet been confirmed.
She explained that “we base our judgement on the findings of the NAFDAC Vaccine Committee; the vaccine specified 18 years and above.
“People with underlying health conditions can also take it but must be under watch.
“Even the Indian Government that first got the vaccine says the product can be given to people with past history of COVID-19.”
The NAFDAC boss said the agency would continue to get more data about the vaccine, review it and notify the public.