The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has said though vaccines go through complex production process, they promote health, save lives and cost.
Prof. Christianah Adeyeye, Director-General, NAFDAC, made the assertion at the virtual 11th Annual Symposium of Health Writers Association of Nigeria (HEWAN) on Thursday.
The symposium had as its theme: “Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines,” and the sub-theme: “Addressing COVID-19 Hesitancy -The Role of the Media.”
Adeyeye, who was represented by Dr Monica Eimunjeze, Director, Drug Registration and Regulatory Affairs, NAFDAC, described vaccines as biological preparations produced from living organisms to enhance immunity against diseases.
She said that vaccines could eradicate diseases as immunisation eradicated smallpox and reduced wild polio by more than 99 per cent.
According to her, global vaccine coverage is put at 86 per cent.
“Vaccines promote health, have expansive reach, rapid impact and save lives and costs.
“Annually, vaccines prevent more than 2.5 million child deaths globally, vaccination is one of the great public health achievements of human history,” she said.
Adeyeye, while assuring Nigerians of the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines, said that the agency would continue to monitor the exercise as a regulatory agency.
“The issue of safety and efficacy is key to vaccine production, it also requires involvement of experts and vaccines are not deployed without the approval of NAFDAC.
“The agency has regulatory control for vaccines as it monitors and approve, clinical trials, inspection of facility, licensing, testing and post- marketing surveillance.
“So, the COVID-19 vaccines are safe,” Adeyeye said.
Also speaking, Prof. Akin Osibogun, former Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, said health writers had the responsibility of creating awareness and changing the misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines.
“We carried out research to look for side effects of the vaccination across the country and we have followed them up for about three to four months.
“I am happy to say that none of them died or was hospitalised.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and the media need to report these facts to reduce vaccination apathy in the country,” he charged.
In his presentation titled “Regenerative Medicine, Benefits of Adult Stem Cell Therapy,” a Physician, Dr David Ikudayisi urged Nigerians to embrace regenerative medicine for better health and reduction in medical tourism.
“Regenerative Medicine is a game-changing area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues and organs in the body.
“Adult Stem Cell therapy, which is a part of regenerative medicine, can effectively treat Autism, Diabetes, Hypertension, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Erectile Dysfunction, Female Infertility, Osteoarthritis, Chronic Joint Pain, among others.
“I urge Nigerians especially the elite who spend millions of dollars annually on overseas treatment to embrace regenerative medicine for better health and reduction in medical tourism,” Ikudayisi said.