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By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE federal government, Friday,took delivery of Russian-made COVID-19 vaccine from ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin today.
This came after the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire supported by the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora and other top management of the Health Ministry and other Nigerian scientists, researchers and advisors played host to the A Alexey Shebarshin today.
The issue on the front burner for discussion is the recently announced Russian-made Vaccine against COVID-19.
Alexey Shebarshin, who admitted that he is a non-scientist, said he was in the Federal Ministry of Health 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 researches, patronage and application.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire stated that 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 has contacted the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria for right of access immediately the Russian COVID-19 Vaccine was announced.
Alexey Shebarshin, who explained further that countries such as U.A.E, S/Arabia, Mexico etc have 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 has expertise to manage with vaccines.
At the courtesy call event were Health care experts/Directors of the Federal Ministry of Health like Dr. Olowu of the PPP Department; Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, mni of the Hospital Services, Department; Mrs. Ajayi of the Food and Drugs Department; Dr. Faisal Shuaib of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPCHDA) supported by other Ministry’s advisors like Professor Oyewale Tomori who is the Chair of the Board of Bio-Vaccine as well as the Ministerial Advisory Committee;
Others are Professor Nasidi Abdusalami who represented the Russian-trained Nigerian Scientists; Professor Salako, the Director-General of the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) and some others.
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.
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.