- A new experimental COVID-19 drug which prevents the disease in mice has been made in Russia
- The United States government recently bought 100 million doses of the vaccines for $1.525billion
- The Nigerian government says it has not placed an order for the vaccine contrary to some reports
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The Federal Government (FG), on Wednesday, August 12 said Nigeria had not placed order for any vaccines from Russia.
The government made the clarification following reports that about 20 countries had ordered billions of the Russian vaccine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of the coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, for use on Tuesday, August 11.
Developed by Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute, the vaccine has yet to go through the crucial Phase 3 trials needed before approval.
The executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, told The Guardian: “Nigeria has not ordered any vaccines from Russia. Nigeria is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Global Alliance for Vaccines (GAVI), Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) and many critical stakeholders to access vaccines that have gone through the required clinical trials and approval processes.
“So in the end, whatever vaccines come to Nigeria, they would be of globally-acceptable standards.”
Also speaking, a pharmaceutical chemist, Professor Chimezie Anyakora, said the Russian COVID-19 vaccine came from a government-owned laboratory that also produced Ebola vaccine.
Anyakora, however, said: “A breakthrough in COVID-19 vaccine will be a big victory for the world. However, the extraordinary pace with which the Russian vaccine was approved for use by the Russian government is a cause for concern.”
On his part, a virologist and vaccinologist, Dr. Simon Agwale, said the approach by Russia could cause harm in several ways such as negative impact on health, creating a false sense of security and undermining trust in vaccinations.
Recall that the three phases of human trials by Russia have successfully been completed as the country plans to go into mass production.
The country has two test candidates. One is for a vaccine being worked on by the Vektor State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology while the second is being handled by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in collaboration with the Russian Defence Ministry.
Meanwhile, the federal government has announced plans to carry out COVID-19 tests for five million Nigerian farmers across the country.
This was disclosed by the minister of agriculture and rural development, Sabo Nanono, on Tuesday, July 21.
Nanono made the comment while delivering a keynote speech during a virtual meeting with major players in the sector.
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