NAFDAC approves 14 local COVID-19 herbal medicines for listing

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*Adeyeye

The director general, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Mojisola Adeyeye has said that the agency listed 14 COVID-19 herbal medicines for use in Nigeria.

The director general disclosed this after she received inoculation against COVID-19 at the NAFDAC headquarters in Abuja yesterday.

She said the agency conducted diligent study on AstraZeneca vaccine and confirmed its efficacy against COVID-19.

Thereafter, she revealed that out of many local herbal medicines submitted to NAFDAC by traditional medicine practitioners, the agency approved 14 of them for listing.

Adeyeye said having scaled the listing hurdle the affected herbal medicines will now proceed to the next clinical trials.

“We have approved about 14 COVID-19 herbal medicines for listing, meaning they are now safe for consumption but how efficacious they are is when they undergo clinical trials. The government has arranged for research and development scheme and we have a number of herbal medicines that are going to be used for clinical trials. But I will not be surprised if we herbal medicine that has anti-viral against COVID-19,” she said.

On the prompt approval of the OXFORD/AstraZeneca vaccine, Adeyeye said from the record of clinical trials conducted by the manufacturers and the analysis done by the agency, it its efficacy outweighs the side effects.

On concerns about the side-effects, the director general said few persons showed some allergy after taking the vaccine.

Nevertheless, she advised anyone who is vaccinated to wait for 45 minutes for doctors’ observation before leaving the clinic.

Generally, she said the OXFORD/AstraZeneca vaccine, from all indications, is safe for use.

Commenting on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Adeyeye said that COVID-19 vaccine is scarce at the moment due to the fact that rich countries have ordered for most of the available doses.

“For Johnson and Johnson, we don’t have the doses yet. I believe that we will do soon. But generally, there is difficulty in accessing COVID-19 vaccine mainly because the rich countries have paid up for it in billions of dollars. “So, they are the ones getting the vaccines now. If we get the doses, we will study it but we are not likely to get it until the second and third quarter of this year,” she said.

However, she said both AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines have the same level of efficacy but that the only difference is that AstraZeneca is two doses per individual while Johnson and Johnson is only one shot.

“We are expecting other vaccines, such as the Russian and Pfizer Biotech vaccines. We may not get a lot of the Pfizer Biotech but as for AstraZeneca and the Russian vaccine we expect to get enough,” she said.

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