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Vaccine preservative: Shift to single-dose vials, NGO advises NAFDAC

Vaccine preservative: Shift to single-dose vials, NGO advises NAFDAC
November 09
09:53 2022

LivingScience Foundation, a health-oriented non-governmental organisation (NGO), says the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) should adopt single-dose vaccines.

The NGO’s comment comes amid concerns raised over the use of “mercuric compound” as vaccine preservative.

Amid reports on the alleged use of mecury in vaccines, NAFDAC had debunked the claim that children in Nigeria are being administered vaccine which contains 40 percent mercury.

Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general of NAFDAC, described the claim as untrue, adding that protocol by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is followed on approval of vaccines in Nigeria, especially on the use of “thimerosal”.

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NAFDAC had also said “thimerosal, a mercuric compound which is a preservative used in multi-dose vaccines, contains a different form of mercury called ethyl mecury”.

Reacting to the development in a statement signed by Joshua Ojo, the president of the NGO, the foundation said thimerosal is dangerous to the brain development of children.

“The issue is therefore not the wrongly-ascribed (possibly a typo) value of 40% as mercury content in the vaccine. The 0.003 – 0.01% value quoted by the NAFDAC, while sounding minuscule as expressed in percentages, is actually humongous in trace elements toxicology,” the statement reads.

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“The upper limit actually translates to 25 micrograms of ethyl mercury in a typical 0.5mL dose which could be administered, in the case of the Hepatitis B vaccine, to day-old low-birthweight babies. 

“By comparison, the WHO recommended limit for mercury in 0.5 mL of wastewater that can be used for agricultural purposes is 0.0005 micrograms. That is 50,000 times lower than the mercury level in the vaccine!

“It is not our intention to by any means discredit the NAFDAC or take up issues with her. This issue in question predates her by decades and there are several intimidating global players involved. 

“Our overriding concern is that health products which are not acceptable for use in the manufacturer/donors’ own children cannot be good enough for our own children and grandchildren. 

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“We encourage NAFDAC to rather side with the Nigerian people and advise the government on budgetary requirements to shift to the use of single-dose vials, or other upcoming innovations; such that Nigerians who require vaccines could continue to have them with at least the same relative safety enjoyed in other climes.”

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