The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said on Monday that Nigeria has met all the World Health Organisation (WHO) requirements on production of vaccines.
The NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who disclosed this at a joint press conference with the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, in Abuja, said the country has met the WHO Maturity Level Three recommendations on local production of vaccines.
She revealed that Maturity Level Three is a compulsory status for any country that wanted to go into vaccine production and other activities.
Adeyeye noted that WHO made 868 recommendations to Nigeria and they had been met.
She said: “The journey for the feat started in January 2018, and by October 2021, Nigeria through the efforts of NAFDAC with support from Federal Ministry of Health, has met the recommendations and it’s expected that soon, WHO officials would give approval for Nigeria to begin the production of vaccine.
“Having met all the criteria, we are waiting for the WHO officials to physically visit the headquarters of NAFDAC to assess the requirements before a final decision on Maturity Level Three status. What it simply means is that Nigeria is closer to manufacturing vaccines, and the success was as a result of a change in culture and way of doing things.
“We have expanded our drugs laboratory in Yaba, and our vaccine laboratory is also being built in Oshodi, both in Lagos, and it will be completed soon.
“The rules that apply to medical sciences several years ago may not be relevant in today’s world or must have been modified.
“Undoubtedly, we produced yellow fever and other vaccines in Nigeria years ago, but the rules have changed. The rule is that any country that wants to produce vaccines must have a strong regulatory system, and that might be the reason for the many recommendations of NAFDAC.”