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FG Approves Malaria Vaccine For Use in Nigeria

The Federal Government has given provisional approval for the use of R21/Matrix malaria vaccine produced by scientists at Oxford University.

The Nigerian government granted the approval after Ghana became the first country to approve the vaccine which is said to be 80 percent effective.

Speaking to newsmen on Monday, April 17, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC), Mojisola Adeyeye said the vaccine was produced by Oxford scientists in collaboration with the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd.

Adeyeye noted that the vaccine is adopted to mitigate and prevent clinical malaria among infants between five months to 36 months of age.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in exercising its mandate as stipulated by its enabling law, NAFDAC Act CapN1, LFN 2004 is granting registration approval for R21 malaria vaccine.

“The vaccine is indicated for the prevention of clinical malaria in children from five months to 36 months of age. The storage temperature of the vaccine is 2-8 °C.”

The NAFDAC boss stressed that the dossier of the R21 was subjected to independent review by researchers from tertiary institutions in Nigeria and the agency’s in-house vaccine committee.

The reviewers’ results were further assessed by a joint review which declared the dossier “satisfactory” and “adequate”.

“Overall, the R21 malaria vaccine dossier complied substantially with the best international standards with which the dossier was benched-marked. The joint review committee concluded that the data on the R21 malaria vaccine were robust and met the criteria for efficacy, safety, and quality.

“It was also adjudged that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks, thereby supporting the manufacturer’s recommended use.”

Adeyeye further emphasised that the provisional approval of R21 malaria vaccine was done in accordance with the WHO’s malaria vaccine implementation guideline.

“While granting the approval, the agency has also communicated the need for expansion of the clinical trial conducted to include a phase 4 clinical trial/pharmacovigilance study to be carried out in Nigeria.

“The brief on the approval of the R21 malaria vaccine has been communicated to the minister of health and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency for appropriate actions towards immunisation in the respective population.

“The only vaccine currently endorsed for malaria by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is the RTS, S/AS01 (RTS,S) vaccine which is 29 percent effective in preventing severe malaria,” she added.

Nigeria parades over a quarter (27 percent) of global malaria cases and deaths. The country loses over 200,000 people, including women and children, to malaria annually.


Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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