The Federal Government has received an aid memoir of the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine.
Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, who delivered the memoir to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during a visit to the ministry yesterday in Abuja, said he was at the ministry to formally hand over the memoir that explains the details of the vaccine for Nigeria’s teams to study and get ready for further researches, patronage and application.
Shebarshin explained that countries, such as United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Mexico, etc, have expressed interest in the vaccine and requested that Nigeria puts together, a team to interface with the embassy to drive the process of human trials, not just for the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, but to explore further disease and health areas the Russian Federation has expertise to manage with vaccines.
According to a statement signed by the ministry’s Director of Information, Media and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi, the minister, in his response, said the vaccine would be quickly referred to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), as well as the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), amongst other agencies, for review and possible validation.
Ehanire noted that Nigeria has been participating in series of knowledge exchange and contacts with different research bodies and countries to find solutions to the COVID-19 challenge and had contacted the embassy for right of access immediately the vaccine was announced.”
“The consensus of decision reached was to quickly refer the vaccine to the necessary professional institutes and agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health, beginning with NAFDAC and NIPRD, and for a team of scientists and advisors to the ministry to get to work on possible patronage of the Russian vaccine to alleviate the plight of Nigerians amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated.
Oyetomi later stressed that what was handed over to the minister was an aid memoir, as the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine was still in the custody of the Russian Embassy in Nigeria and not with the Nigerian health authorities.