The vaccines await certification as clinical trials are in progress.
Rabat – Nigerian scientists have developed two COVID-19 vaccines, renewing hopes for improved vaccine access in Africa. Nigeria’s medical breakthrough was first reported by Nigerian outlet Vanguard, who quoted Boss Mustapha.
Mustapha is Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
During the PTF’s briefing on March 22, he stated that “Nigerian scientists have produced at least two local COVID-19 vaccines which are awaiting clinical trials and certification is significant.”
“The vaccines will be used after completing clinical trials and obtaining certification,” he announced. “This is a welcome development that will open a new vista in scientific breakthrough and will boost the morale and image of the medical industry in the country,” said Mustapha.
Mustapha urged all relevant bodies to provide the necessary support and create a cohesive environment so the vaccine certification protocols will be smoother and more efficient.
COVAX in Nigeria
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria has received 3.94 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on March 2 through the COVAX initiative.
COVAX is a global initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Nigeria also received another 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines funded by the telecommunications giant MTN Nigeria.
Mustapha urged the support of other partners in the battle against COVID-19: “This is acknowledged with thanks as we encourage other partners to contribute towards the fight against COVID-19,” Mustapha said.
MTN is donating 7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to several African countries, with Nigeria expected to receive 1.4 million doses by the end of March, according to an official.
Last week many countries, mostly in Europe, suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine claiming that it may have caused blood clots in some recipients.
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health, in a tweet, gave assurance that the vaccine is safe and effective against the virus: “Last week the Ministry received AstraZeneca Group and the meeting provided us an opportunity for one on one clarification of the vaccines and the outcome of the meeting reassured us of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria reached 162,076 people, including 148,530 recoveries, and 2,031 deaths. The African country launched its vaccination campaign on March 5, yet no official figures have been revealed.
Morocco, meanwhile, topped the list of African countries with 4,265,196 people vaccinated, while 2,593,205 received their second dose.