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FG Approves New COVID-19 Vaccine, Reveals Next Move

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The Federal Government has approved the use of the Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV COVID-19 vaccine in curbing the spread of the ravaging pandemic in the country.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, revealed the good news at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to Shuaib, the new vaccine was approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Saturday, 21st August 2021.

The NPHCDA boss added that the Sinopharm vaccine has also received the World Health Organisation (WHO) certification for emergency use.

Shuaib stated that the new vaccine was developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products, adding that the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine has two different acronyms, BBIBP and BIBP.

He said: “NAFDAC has approved Sinopharm vaccine. The approval was done three days ago. And yes, the 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 added: “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.

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

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows. Gbenga is an alumnus of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State and The Polytechnic, Ibadan.