…As FG says NAFDAC hasn’t approved any vaccines***
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) registered 1,867 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 107,345.
The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Friday, even as some Nigerians posited that the hype was to make Government postpone schools resumption.
It noted that eight people also died from the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,413.
The centre added that the new cases were reported from 23 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The public health agency said that Lagos State reported 713 infections, Plateau, 273; FCT, 199; Kaduna, 117; and Oyo, 79.
Other were Enugu-58, Ondo-53, Kano-49, Sokoto-43, Ogun-37, Osun-37, Nasarawa-36, Rivers-28, Benue-24, Delta-24, Niger-24, Gombe-18, Edo-15, Taraba-12, Bayelsa-10, Ekiti-9, Borno-6, Zamfara-2 and Jigawa-1.
It stated that 705 patients across the nation had been treated successfully and recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, adding that the number of recovered patients had risen to 84,535.
It noted that “our discharges today include 277 community recoveries in Lagos State, 150 in Kaduna and 78 in Plateau, managed in line with guidelines.”
The centre said that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, is coordinating response activities nationwide.
Meanwhile, it declared that the new highly transmittable variant of the COVID-19 had not been detected in the country.
It explained that the centre was able to determine the absence of the new COVID-19 variant in the country through genomic sequencing it conducted in partnership with African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases and the Reedemer’s University, Ede, Osun State.
“Viruses mutate, emergence of new variant strains of COVID-19 isn’t news.
“Genomic sequencing in Nigeria shows no evidence yet of variants associated with increased transmission, but we’re looking,” it said.
The NCDC, however, said it would not relent in its disease surveillance efforts.
The 1,867 new infections recorded in the last 24 hours was the highest single-day rise since the index case was confirmed on Feb. 27, 2020.
But a mother in Agugu, Ibadan appealed to Government to go ahead with the schools resumption, saying ever since Government backed the January 18th date, the hype had begun and the rate of infections hyked.
“Why should they intimidate us with ako iba (acute fever)?”, We have had it for decades!”, Sariyu Liadi added.
Last week, the country surpassed its existing highest weekly record of COVID-19 infections by recording over 9,800 cases in seven days.
An analysis showed that between Jan. 3 and Jan. 9, the country recorded 9,833 cases, a sharp increase from the 5,681 cases recorded in the previous week — Dec. 27, 2020 to Jan. 2, 2021
In the meantime, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration
and Control (NAFDAC) says the agency has not approved any COVID-19 vaccines.
She made this known in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.
She stated that the agency had not received any application from vaccine manufacturers “and therefore, no vaccine had been approved by NAFDAC.
“There are reports of fake vaccines in Nigeria; NAFDAC is pleading with the public to beware. COVID-19 vaccines are new, and the side effects must be monitored.
“No COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by NAFDAC. Fake vaccines can cause COVID-like illnesses or other serious diseases that can kill.’’
The director-general, who restated the commitment of the agency toward guaranteeing drugs security, warned companies and corporate bodies against unapproved ordering of vaccines, noting that genuine manufacturing companies had to submit applications to NAFDAC first.
“No government establishment or agencies should order for COVID-19 vaccines without confirming from NAFDAC.
“However, NAFDAC is discussing with manufacturers of candidate COVID-19 vaccines concerning potential Emergency Use Authourisation (EUA), registration or licencing of their products as the case may be.”
Adeyeye, however, assured applicants of NAFDAC’s determination to approve vaccines for emergency use if phase three clinical data were convincing and robust with regards to safety and efficacy, and the vaccine had been submitted for World Health Organisation (WHO) emergency use listing.
She emphasised the commitment of NAFDAC in using “Reliance” or “Recognition” to expedite Emergency Use Authourisation (EUA) for vaccines already approved by mature regulatory authorities.
“The full dossiers submitted by manufacturer or Market Authourisation Holder (MAH) will be thoroughly reviewed by the Vaccine Committee that is made up of multiple directorates in the agency.”
The NAFDAC boss, who said that the agency would welcome the application for Emergency Use Authorisation in Nigeria, however, reiterated readiness to examine the safety of any vaccine.
She affirmed the collaboration of NAFDAC with sister agencies as National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), UNICEF, WHO and Ministry of Health, aimed at achieving holistic approach for effective immunisation and delivery.
“NAFDAC plans to also use Traceability with GS1 Technology to monitor vaccine distribution, using Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).
“The goal is to prevent fake vaccines from infiltrating the supply chain and to ensure there is no diversion.
“This effort will create a reliable and predictable supply chain. The multi-stakeholder technical working group has been meeting to address different issues from
access to distribution to traceability to monitoring of adverse events following immunisation.
“NAFDAC is also a member of Regulators Steering Committee of African Union -3S (Smart, Safety, Surveillance) with Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia, collaborating with UK Medicines Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with funding from Bill and Melinda gates Foundation.
Adeyeye explained that the aim of the continental collaboration was to use COVID-19 vaccines distribution and immunisation as pilot to actively monitor the distribution, delivery and monitoring of Adverse Effects Following Immunisation at the continental level, aimed at creating an African-based vigilance system for safety of medicines.