Faisal Shuaib, executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use in Nigeria.
He disclosed this on Tuesday, at a media briefing in Abuja.
The approval of the Sinopharm vaccine comes weeks after NAFDAC approved the Moderna and Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in Nigeria.
The Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine is an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine and had been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency use.
Speaking on Tuesday, Shuaib said the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) approved the vaccine three days ago.
“NAFDAC has approved Sinopharm vaccine. The approval was done three days ago. And yes, Sinopharm vaccine has also received WHO certification,” he said.
“So, it is a potential vaccine that we could use.
“There are so many vaccines out there, but one thing that we are very clear about is that we are not going to use all the available vaccines in Nigeria.
“At some point, we are going to draw a line in terms of the number of vaccines we would use, so that we can keep a close watch on the number of vaccines we are utilising in Nigeria.”
Shuaib said the vaccine was developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products, “sometimes written as Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products”, noting that there are sometimes two different acronyms, BBIBP and BIBP, for the same vaccine.
“It completed phase three trials in Argentina, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru and United Arab Emirates (UAE), with over 60,000 participants. BBIBP-CorV shares, similar technology with CoronaVac and Covaxin, other inactivated virus vaccines for COVID-19,” he said.
“Its product name is SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine ‘Vero Cell’, not to be confused with the similar product name of CoronaVac.”