At least fourteen (14) herbal medicines have been approved by NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) have been approved as safe for human consumption.
This was revealed by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, after taking her COVID vaccine in Abuja, yesterday. After given the needed assurance regarding the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, she went ahead to state that the herbs will undergo clinical trials before they can be certified efficacious for treating corona virus.
She said: “I believe in herbal medicine. But herbal medicine that is not backed up by research may be effective but we don’t know.
Especially for COVID-19 vaccine, herbal medicine has to be antiviral. It is not enough that it relieves cold, cough etc., it has to be antiviral.
We have approved about 14 for listing, meaning they is safe to use, but how efficacious, it is when you do a clinical trial that you will know. Also, it is very costly to do clinical trials.
The government has arranged for a research and development scheme for the health sector. We have many herbal medicines that are going to be used.
Of course, we would have given them listing, but they will go further for a clinical trial. We are still expecting such. I will not be surprised if we have a herbal medicine that has antiviral against COVID-19.”
Concerning the safety and efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the NAFDAC boss added: “When we got the application package of this vaccine, we went through it line by line.
Before we got the application itself, we went through what others had already assessed in their report so that we will be prepared when we start our own. And that was exactly what happened. We have concluded based on the quality, safety and efficacy report.
For this particular AstraZeneca, over 20,000 people were involved in phase three. Phases 1,2,3 are different based on the number of subjects. When you have over 20,000 people and they say 10 incidences or side effects occurred, statistically and epidemiologically, you categorise as benefit outweigh the risk.
There is no medicine that doesn’t have side effects, especially when it is going through development. It is whether the benefit outweighs the risk. And the conclusion is that from all indications – quality, safety and efficacy, the benefits outweighed the side effects.
Side effects may be soreness or tenderness in the arm, fever etc. There are few cases of people that have allergies to things that show allergic reactions.
Everybody that is taking the vaccine must be around for about 45 minutes for the nurse, doctor to watch to make sure that everything is fine. From all indications, it is generally safe.”