Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The federal government has raised the alarm over a case of 3,000 doses of fake Covid-19 vaccines to be exported to Africa but intercepted in China.
In an advisory issued on Saturday to medical directors and chief executive officers of federal government tertiary institutions in the country by the Director, Department of the Hospital Services in the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, government said the ministry had received a letter from the Presidential Taskforce on Control of COVID-19 regarding the arrest of 3,000 doses of fake COVID-19 vaccines packaged for delivery to African countries in China.
It said from all indications, the fake COVID-19 vaccines were already in circulation on the continent.
According to the Advisory titled: ‘Report of fake Vaccines Destined for Africa Arrested in China’, the Federal Ministry of Health said as part of the preventive measures put in place to check influx of fake and illegal COVID-19 vaccines into the country, Nigeria Customs Services has designated the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja as the sole point of entry for approved COVID-19 vaccines.
“The Ministry is in receipt of letter from the Presidential Taskforce on Control of COVID-19 regarding the arrest of 3,000 doses of fake COVID-19, which were Africa-bound from China.
“The report further indicates that the fake COVID-19 vaccines are already in circulation in Africa. To prevent the implementation of fake COVID-19 vaccines, kindly note that the Nigeria Customs Services has designated the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport as the only point of entry for imported COVID19 vaccines.
“I am, therefore, to bring this to your notice and dispel any possibility of fake COVID-19 vaccines being available for sale or being administered by any unauthoised institution,” it said.
Although there have been concerns over the issue of fake COVID-19 vaccines flooding the market in the country.
The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had earlier cautioned on the possibility of fake COVID-19 vaccines being hawked around the country by some merchants.
The Director General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye warned Nigeria not to patronise what she described as black market COVID-19 vaccines but to promptly alert NAFDAC or security agencies about them.