The Nigerian government has approved the use of Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
Faisal Shuaib, the executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) made the disclosure on Tuesday at a media briefing in the nation’s capital Abuja.
The approval comes weeks after NAFDAC approved the Moderna and Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines for emergency use in Nigeria.
“NAFDAC has approved Sinopharm vaccine. The approval was done three days ago. And yes, Sinopharm vaccine has also received WHO certification,” Shuaib said.
“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.”
According to the health expert, 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,” he said.