Nigeria Receives Russian Covid-19 Vaccine

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*Says NAFDAC, NIPRD to evaluate vaccine

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo 

Federal Government said it will forward the Russian-made COVID-19 Vaccine to drug regulatory agencies, the National Agency for Drug and Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Development (NIPRD).

Speaking while recieving the vaccine from Russian Federation Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey. Shebarshin, Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the decision reached was to quickly refer the vaccine to the necessary professional institutes and agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health.

“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 under the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Ehanire said that 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.

Ehanire supported by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, and other top management of the Health Ministry and other Nigerian scientists, researchers who participated in the meeting online played host to the Russian Ambassador.

A statement issued by the Director, Information, Media & Public Relations, Mr. Olujimi Oyetomi, said the meeting between the minister and Russian team centred on the Russian-made Vaccine against COVID-19.

Ehanire stated that Nigeria had 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.

Shebarshin said that countries such as U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Mexico had expressed interest in the Russian COVID-19 Vaccine and requested that Nigeria puts together a team to interface with his Embassy to drive the process of human trials not just for the Russian COVID-19 Vaccine but to explore further disease and health areas where the Russian Federation had expertise to manage with vaccines.