The Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnibe Mamora, has assured that COVID-19 vaccines, would be subjected to scrutiny by relevant authorities before being administered on Nigerians.
The Minister gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday, January 28, while on a facility inspection tour of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).
Mamora said the scrutiny was necessary because the COVID-19 vaccines were being produced under emergency conditions, adding that countries were required to sign an indemnity before receiving the vaccines.
He also said that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would subject the vaccines to thorough scrutiny to ascertain their safety.
While commending the management of NIPRD for its efforts in developing safe and local pharmaceutical products, he noted that research and development remained important in promoting the good health and economic wellbeing of any nation.
He then called on stakeholders to collaborate more with NIPRD in its bid to develop local medicinal products; and achieve its other mandates.
“Vaccines are being used under emergency conditions and they will be subjected to scrutiny in Nigeria; NAFDAC will have to examine them thoroughly before usage.
“All over the world, management of disease conditions and ill health revolves around new technologies and good medicines.
“Nigeria has since recognised the important role of research and development; in the push to promote good health, wellbeing and economic development.
“The country has developed policies, institutions, and programmes that support scientific research and development, like NIPRD.
“I call on development partners; foundations; and philanthropic organisations to collaborate more with NIPRD; in its bid to make Nigeria self-sufficient in medicine production,’’ he said.
Earlier, the Director-General of NIPRD, Dr Obi Adigwe, commended the minister for the ministry’s efforts; at checking the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Adigwe said NIPRD was established to enhance the development and commercialisation of pharmaceutical raw materials; drugs; and biological products; using indigenous natural resources.
He said that the institute had pioneered the research and development of various medicines using local plants.
He then called on all stakeholders to support NIPRD in its efforts at combating COVID-19 and other critical health issues.