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Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine becomes second to get Nigeria’s nod

Pfizer-BioNtech’s COVID-19 vaccine has become the second to get Nigeria’s approval after the Oxford-developed AztraZeneca vaccine.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday approved Pfizer-BioNtech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in Nigeria.

Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general, NAFDAC, at a press conference in Lagos said the authorisation is for emergency use only.

The approval is coming over two months after the agency approved the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.

Adeyeye informed that the vaccine can now be stored between -15oC and -25oC, equivalent to freezer temperature.

Read Also: BioNTech mulls producing Covid vaccines in Africa

Nigeria was earlier promised 100,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccines by COVAX, the global initiative for equitable distribution of vaccines, but factors around cost and volume of possible coverage made the scheme shift to the cheaper but less efficacious AstraZeneca.

Nigeria has received over 4 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – 3.92 million was delivered through the COVAX facility, while others are donations from India and private organisations.

The rollout began on March 5, and according to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), over one million Nigerians have received the first dose of the vaccine.

According to the agency 8,439 Nigerians reported mild side effects after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, while over 50 reported moderate to severe side effects.

On April 26, the Federal Government announced that it was expecting to receive 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the African Union (AU).

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