A team of Nigerian scientists has announced the discovery of a preventive vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
According to the COVID-19 Research Group “the vaccine is real and has been validated several times.
Though targeted at Africans, the scientists say it will also work for other races. This report also captures nigeria’s efforts in fighting previous pandemics.
The team is called the Nigerian Universities’ Scientists, under the aegis of COVID-19 Research Group.
Dr Oladipo Kolawole, Leader of the team, stated this at Adeleke University, Ede, in Osun state, that extensive work had been done on the virus’s genome from samples across Africa to select the best potential vaccine candidates.
“The population of those that need vaccines is more than those that need drugs. That is why the research focused on a vaccine,” he noted.
The vaccine which enjoyed funding from partners cost roughly 7.8 million Nigerian nairas ($20,000), to produce
The vaccine which hasnt been named would take a minimum of 18 months to be released for widespread use, due to a large amount of research, analysis and approvals required by medical authorities. This might just be the breakthrough needed to combat the deadly virus, going by the feedback so far.
Meanhile, Nigeria’s handling of the pandemic has received some knocks, with cases passing 20000 cases and over 500 deaths.
Nigeria once recorded feats when its started producing smallpox vaccine in the 1930s, followed by anti-rabies vaccine in 1948 and yellow fever vaccine in 1952. It produced 316,000 doses of yellow fever vaccine in 1978, reaching a peak of more than 500,000 doses in 1987.
The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, established in 1977, has a mandate to research and produce human vaccines.
but Prof Babatunde Salako, the director general of the Lagos-based institute, says its vaccine production laboratory is not functioning well”
In 2017, the Nigerian government partnered with May & Baker to revive the federal vaccine laboratory in Lagos and start local production of vaccines until 2021. This has not commenced reportedly
This prompted the Nigeria’s parliament in may 2020 to passed a motion urging the government to reopen the Yaba facility to help fight diseases such as Covid-19.
Chike John Okafor, the federal lawmaker who raised the motion, said the laboratory was closed for upgrades in 1991 and remained locked.
In March 2020 the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced that researchers had sequenced the genome of the coronavirus strain in Nigeria’s first Covid-19 case. “It proved it to be a match with the virus circulating in Italy and Wuhan,” the centre said.
NIMR was conducting a trial of chloroquine and erythromycin, as well as conducting research on Covid-19, funded partly by the FG
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