Nigeria receives Russia COVID-19 vaccine, to subject it to further researches

THE Federal Government on Friday announced that it has received the recently developed COVID-19 vaccine from Russia Government.

In a statement by Olujimi Oyetomi, Director of Information, Media and Public Relations at the Federal Ministry of Health, the vaccine was handed over to Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, during a visit to the Ministry of Health by Alexey L. Shebarshin, Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria in Abuja.

The purpose for presenting the vaccine, the Russian Ambassador said, was for study, further research, patronage and application by the Nigerian Government.

“The Honourable 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 (who participated in the meeting online) played host to the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, H.E. Alexey L. Shebarshin today, Friday, 4th September, 2020. 

“As expected, the issue on the front burner for discussion is the recently announced Russian-made Vaccine against COVID-19,” Oyetomi said.

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 statement said. 

He explained that other nations have expressed interest in the vaccine, while requesting that the Nigerian Government put up a team that will interface “with the Russai 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.

Speaking,  Osagie Ehanire, Nigerian Minister of Health, “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.

He said the Federal Government has contacted the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria for right of access immediately the Russian COVID-19 vaccine was announced.

According to the statement, “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.”



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    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 interest highlighted at the meeting.

    The ICIR had reported how Russia President Vladimir Putin announced that his country has recorded a breakthrough in the development of a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus presently ravaging the world.

    He was reported to have said that the vaccine went through the necessary tests and it is safe for the treatment of the coronavirus.

    “I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests. The most important thing is to ensure full safety of using the vaccine and its efficiency,” Putin said.

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