The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has assured the public that it will protect the integrity of all the six COVID-19 vaccines it has authorised for use in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, said “anytime the vaccine gets to the ports, we make sure that the integrity of the vaccine is not compromised. We make sure that the cold chain has not been broken”.
At a media soiree where the FDA sought to give an update on what it had been doing since the outbreak of the pandemic, Mrs Darko said “we accompany the vaccine to the Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI) cold room, and make sure that they have been stored properly and then we come back before issuing the authorisation for the EPI to deploy the vaccine,” she explained.
The six approved COVID-19 vaccines are Sputnik V, Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield), Johnson & Johnson, Moderna (Spikevax), Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca from the UK/EU.
Mrs Darko explained that the first two consignments of AstraZeneca (Covishield), sourced from the Serum Institute of India, were administered in two doses within eight to 12 weeks apart.
She said so far, 865,422 doses of the Covishield had been deployed for the first dose of the vaccine and 405,971 for the second dose, while 7,740 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine had been deployed.
She said since the launch of the MedSafety App, an interface platform for feedback on food and drug products in 2019, it had not received the expected patronage.
Mrs Darko reported that even though 75 per cent of the number that reported any side effects through the App were from the public, she acknowledged that more sensitisation was needed to get many people to use the App.
“Actually the MedSafety App is like your safety on your phone, which can be downloaded from the play store or app store, and you can report any side effects to any medicine, including vaccine, and what happens is that we immediately acknowledge receipt and give out feedback,” she said.
She explained that the good thing about the App was that, “you can save information on any medicine you are taking so that as soon as there is an alert from us, it will immediately come up on your phone”.