Nigerian authorities have approved the emergency use of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine amid efforts to battle the third wave of infections in the country, an official said on Tuesday.
Faisal Shuaib, head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has certified the Chinese vaccine for emergency use after carrying out the final assessment of the vaccine.
"NAFDAC has approved Sinopharm vaccine, the approval was done three days ago; and yes, Sinopharm vaccine has also received WHO certification," Shuaib told a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
"So, it is a potential vaccine that we could use," he added.
Last week, the West African country started the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program.
It has been grappling with rising confirmed cases since late June, with an ambitious goal of vaccinating at least 40 percent of its population by the end of this year, and 70 percent by the end of 2022.
Nigeria reported 565 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total caseload to 187,588, while a total of 2,276 people have died from the virus, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.