The Nigerian government on Friday received samples of COVID-19 vaccine from Russia.
Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, delivered the samples to Nigeria’s health minister Osagie Ehanire during a visit to Abuja.
Ehanire 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, amongst other agencies, for review and possible validation.
“We are exploring all knowledge in terms of therapeutics and vaccines,” Ehanire said in a statement by the health ministry. “We are expressing our interest for the COVID19 vaccine so that we will have the opportunity to work elaborately.
Also present at the event were the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; top management of the Health Ministry and other Nigerian Scientists.
CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib stated that this opportunity will help to strengthen the collaboration between Russian and Nigeria.
“We are at a point where we have a joint venture with the private sector,” Shuaib said.
Director of the hospital services department in the health ministry Dr Adepimpe Adebiyi said the receipt of the samples is an opportunity for Nigeria to expand in its vaccine production.
Adebiyi stated that Nigeria’s technical officers will interphase with the Russian team in order to strengthen the relationship between both countries.
The World Health Organisation had subsequently said it would review the effectiveness of the vaccine since its production.
Currently, Nigeria has recorded over 50,000 COVID-19 infections with over 1,000 associated fatalities, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Over 42,000 persons have been successfully treated of the virus.
The Russia-made COVID-19 vaccine is not the first external intervention Nigeria has received in the battle against COVID-19.
In May, The President received the country’s allocation of the Madagascar anti-corona virus drink.
Buhari subsequently approved the airlifting of the drink to government agencies for assessment.
The government is, however, yet to provide an update on the drink’s capacity to successfully help curb COVID-19.