FG approves New COVID-19 Vaccine

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The Nigerian Government has approved the Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV COVID-19 vaccine to step up efforts to combat the third wave of infections in the country.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed on Tuesday, in Abuja that NAFDAC has approved Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.

BBIBP-CorV, also known as the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine or BIBP vaccine, is one of two inactivated virus COVID-19 vaccines.

He said it was developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products “sometimes written as Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products,” resulting in the two different acronyms BBIBP and BIBP, for the same vaccine.

“It completed phase 3 trials in Argentina, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, and United Arab Emirate (UAE), with over 60,000 participants. BBIBP-CorV shares, similar technology with CoronaVac and Covaxin, other inactivated virus vaccines for COVID-19.

“Its product name is SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine ‘Vero Cell’ not to be confused with the similar product name of CoronaVac,” said Shauib.

He added that the approval was recently granted by NAFDAC and the vaccine had also received the World Health Organisation (WHO) certification.

The NPHCDA boss said, “NAFDAC has approved Sinopharm vaccine, the approval was done three days ago; and yes, Sinopharm vaccine has also received WHO certification.

“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,” he said.