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Nigeria lacks capacity to produce COVID-19 vaccines —Pfizer



People with anaphylaxis should not take Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines –UK medicine regulator

A pharmaceutical company, Pfizer has stated that Nigeria lacks the technical capacity for the development and production of COVID-19 vaccines.

This was stated by the Pfizer Country Manager Nigeria and Cluster Lead West Africa for Pfizer, Mr Olayinka Subair, during a courtesy visit to The PUNCH Headquarters in Magboro, Ogun State, on Thursday.

Subair based his assertion on the fact that the COVID-19 development is a long and technical process with prohibitive cost implications.

He said, “Vaccine development takes, on average, about 12 years. From discovery to experiments and trials, COVID-19 was an exceptional one as it was a global pandemic that needed a quick solution. At Pfizer, for example, most of the processes were done in parallel. Normally, the processes are meant to be done in sequence.

Read also: NAFDAC approves three new COVID-19 vaccines to tackle third wave

“Because we had already synthesised the vaccine already, we just scaled up from there. Whether Nigeria will be able to do a vaccine for a new disease, it will be very difficult. There are conventional diseases that their vaccines are just generic, like polio, measles, and others.

“But the technology transfer for a disease like COVID-19 that is mutating fast – and there are still so many studies going on around the virus – will take a lot of time.

“We do not have the technical competence or the capacity to develop a COVID-19 vaccine locally yet. For generic diseases like polio or measles, we can take up the end-stage manufacturing for them, but COVID-19 is still largely out of our reach for now.”

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