Fake meningitis vaccines in circulation, NAFDAC warns

April 4, 2019
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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has alerted the Nigerians, especially health care providers, on the circulation of fake meningitis vaccines circulating in the Niger Republic.

According to a press statement by Prof. Moji Adeyeye, NAFDAC’s Director General, health authorities in that country issued an alert on the fake vaccines after it was discovered during the routine inspection of pharmacies in Niamey in March.

“The Health Authorities of the Republic of Niger issued an alert on the fake vaccines discovered during routine inspections of the pharmacies in Niamey, Niger Republic, on the 14th March, 2019.

“The Lot number of the fake MencevaxTM ACW vaccine is AMEN A020 AA, while the Lot number of the fake MencevaxTM ACWY is AMEH A020 AA,” she said.

Adeyeye said that the fake vaccine had a manufacturing date of December 2016, and an expiring date of November 2021.

She said that the genuine vaccines used to control the outbreak of meningococcal infection were registered by NAFDAC in favour of Glaxo SmithKline Beecham (GSK), adding that Pfizer acquired the vaccines from GSK in 2015.

She warned importers and retailers of pharmaceutical products not to an import or sell the fake vaccine.

“Genuine MencevaxTM ACW and MencevaxTM ACWY vaccines are used to control an outbreak of meningococcal infection.

“The genuine vaccines were registered by NAFDAC in favour of Glaxo SmithKline Beecham (GSK). Pfizer acquired the vaccines from GSK in 2015.

“NAFDAC implores all importers, wholesalers, and retailers not to illegally import, distribute and sell the fake Mencevax vaccines,” she said.

The NAFDAC boss said that Pfizer discontinued the sale of such vaccine in Nigeria in 2018, adding that NAFDAC had increased surveillance in all ports of entry to prevent the fake vaccine from entry into Nigeria.

”Pfizer Specialties Limited, 21 Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi Lagos discontinued commercialization of Mencevax Vaccines in Nigeria in June 2018.

“As a result of the discontinuation of commercialization of the vaccines, Pfizer specialities Limited no longer import the vaccines into Nigeria.

“Surveillance has been strengthened by NAFDAC at all ports of entry to prevent importation of the fake vaccines from the Niger Republic, and to prevent the distribution and sale of the fake vaccine,” she said.

Adeyeye, therefore, advised healthcare providers and other members of the public to be vigilant and contact the nearest NAFDAC office with any information on the fake vaccines.

She urged anybody in possession of the fake vaccines to submit such to the nearest NAFDAC office.

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