Benefits Of AstraZeneca Vaccine ‘Outweigh Risks’ – NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has insisted that AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective and that benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks associated with it.

NAFDAC Director-General, Mojisola Adeyeye, stated this during an interview on Channels TV’s ‘Sunrise daily’ programme on Wednesday.

Adeyeye said in the last 12 days of administering the vaccines, the country had only reported mild cases of adverse reactions and as such would not stop its further use simply because other countries are doing so.

“This is not the first drugs that will be under the emergency use authorization and this is not the first vaccine being used for COVID-19. As a regulatory authority, we are part of the International Coalition of Medicine Regulatory Authorities.

“NAFDAC is the only African country part of the regulatory body and everyday information is shared about the adverse effect of serious nature, so it is transparent.

“For example, Pfizer Biotech, Modanna have reported Avila tic reaction. Also, Bell’s Palsy – temporary weakness of the muscles of the eyes/ temporary paralysis of the eye muscles, have been reported. So, should we then have stopped those two vaccines from being used?

“It is known that these are serious, but the benefits outweigh the risks. Do you want hundreds of people to die? or if there is a very minimal chance that someone will have a serious adverse effect? You have to, it is only logical.

“People are dying of COVID-19. The vaccine should not be stopped unless it is of a statically massive occurrence,” she said.

Conversations surrounding safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine have continued to gain momentum after a patient reportedly died of blood clotting in Austria after taking the vaccine. The reported death led to suspension of the vaccine by over 11 countries including, South Africa.

But Nigeria as well as the European Union Medicine Regulator maintained that the death recorded in Austria has not been confirmed to have resulted from administration of the vaccine.

Speaking further, the NAFDAC boss said it was important for those who lack confidence in their body system to stay off the vaccine.

Adeyeye emphasised that the over 8,000 persons whom the National Primary Health Care Development Centre (NPHCDA) had confirmed to have received the vaccine have reported no reactions of special interest.

“In National hospital in the first week, about 550 something health care workers were vaccinated.

“We got a report of about 6 adverse reactions of a few fevers, chills to pain at the site of injection and tommy rumpling, but we have not recorded any adverse effect of serious nature or special interest”.

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