The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says the Covishield vaccine is the same as the Oxford AstraZeneca University (AZOU).
Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC’s director general, in a statement on Sunday, explained that Covishield is the result of a cooperation and a technology transfer from AstraZeneca — University of Oxford to Serum Institute of India PVT Ltd (SIIPL).
“AZOU gave the license of its vaccine to Serum Institute of India PVT Ltd (SIIPL) to manufacture this vaccine at a commercial scale. SIIPL is the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world and the company got the license by signing the manufacturing agreement,” she said.
“SIIPL gave the vaccine the trade name COVISHIELD, it is the result of a cooperation and a technology transfer from AstraZeneca — University of Oxford to SIIPL.
“SIIPL is now the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally.
“More than 1.5 billion doses, which include Polio vaccine, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps and Rubella.
“Both COVISHIELD manufactured by Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd and COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca manufactured by AstraZeneca are the same vaccine – ChAdOx1 nCoV- 19 Corona Virus Vaccines (Recombinant).”
Adeyeye added that the vaccines manufactured by SIIPL were accredited by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and are being used in about 170 countries in their national immunisation programme.
On March 2, the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Nigeria courtesy of the UN-led COVAX facility, which donated 3.9 million doses to Nigeria.
Nigeria commenced its COVID-19 vaccination with frontline health workers in Abuja, on March 5 — same day the safety of the vaccine was certified by NAFDAC.