The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has clarified that Covishield vaccine by Serum Institute of India PVT Ltd (SIIPL) is the same as the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
It stated that AstraZeneca and Oxford University (AZOU), which originally developed the vaccine, gave the SIIPL the licence to manufacture the vaccine at a commercial scale.
The regulatory agency stressed that the Covishield and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have the same constituents – the ChAdOx1 nCoV- 19 Corona Virus Vaccines (Recombinant).
But, the NAFDAC boss advised Nigerians to ensure that the AstraZeneca vaccine being administered on them had the original label.
The agency said the warning was imperative to ensure people did not risk being vaccinated with fake Astrazeneca vaccine.
NAFDAC Director-General Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, who stated these yesterday in a statement, said: “AstraZeneca and Oxford University (AZOU) originally developed the ChAdOx1 recombinant adenoviral vector vaccine to be used for prevention of COVID-19 disease. AZOU gave the licence 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 licence by signing manufacturing agreement with AstraZeneca (AZ)/Oxford University to manufacture this vaccine. SIIPL gave the vaccine the trade name COVISHIELD™.
“COVISHIELD™ is the result of a cooperation and a technology transfer from AstraZeneca – University of Oxford to SIIPL.
“Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. is now the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 1.5 billion doses), which includes Polio vaccine as well as Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines.
“Vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute are accredited by the World Health Organisation, Geneva and are being used in around 170 countries across the globe in their national immunisation programmes, saving millions of lives throughout the world.”