Breaking: FG Receives Russia’s COVID-19 Vaccine
It would be recalled that Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin had in August announced that it had produced the first batch of its COVID-19 vaccine, dubbing it as the world’s first approved vaccine.
Putin said the vaccine was safe and that one of his own daughters had been inoculated, though clinical trials were not yet complete and final stage testing involving more than 2,000 people only started this week.
The Russian vaccine is called “Sputnik V” after the Soviet-era satellite that was first launched into space in 1957.
World Health Organisation has however said the vaccine, which was developed by a state laboratory and tested on the laboratory’s workers and volunteer soldiers, would be reviewed to ascertain its effectiveness.
Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, delivered the samples to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, during a visit to the ministry in Abuja.
Also present at the event were the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; top management of the Health Ministry and other Nigerian Scientists.
This was contained in a statement signed by the ministry’s Director of Information, Media, and Public Relations, Olujimi Oyetomi.
The statement was titled, ‘Russian Federation Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Alexey L. Shebarshin on courtesy visit to Nigeria’s Health Ministers, Russian-made COVID-19 Vaccine finally here.’
Ehanire, speaking while receiving the samples, 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 (NIPRD) amongst other agencies, for review and possible validation.
The need for a vaccine has become more urgent globally and nationally with Nigeria recording over 50,000 COVID-19 infections and over 1,000 associated fatalities, according to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.