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[BREAKING] Nigeria Receives Russia’s Controversial COVID-19 Vaccine

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As the country continues to record a low number of new confirmed cases, the Federal Government (FG) has received samples of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The Federal Ministry of Health made this known Friday.

The Ministry disclosed that Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, delivered the samples to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during a visit to the ministry in Abuja.

According to a statement signed by the Ministry’s Director of Information, Media, and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi, the Minister said the vaccine would be “quickly referred” to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control as well as the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, amongst other agencies, for review and possible validation.

The need for a vaccine Dr. Ehanire restated has become more urgent globally and nationally with Nigeria recording over 50,000 COVID-19 infections and over 1,000 associated fatalities, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The Spokesman of the Ministry said the Russian envoy said he was at the Health Ministry “to formally hand over the Russian-made Vaccine against COVID-19 to Nigeria with an aide memoir which explains the details for Nigerian teams to study and get ready for further research, patronage and application.”

Oyetomi further stated: “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 of the Russian Federation in Nigeria for right of access immediately the Russian COVID-19 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, 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.

“A Ministerial Team is also expected to be raised to continue further engagement with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria on the vaccine as well as other areas of interests highlighted at the meeting’’.

In attendance to receive the vaccine were the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora; top management of the Health Ministry and some Nigerian Scientists.

African examiner reports that on August 11, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing.

However, some health experts have criticized Russia over the speed at which it rolled out its vaccine without going through a larger trial stage involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.

Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine’s effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.


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