Russia delivers samples of COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria

The Russian government on Friday delivered samples of COVID-19 vaccine to the Federal Government in Abuja, the country’s capital.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who took the delivery on behalf of the FG from Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, in an official tweeter handle of the Federal Ministry of Health, said: “We are expressing our interest in the #COVID-19 vaccine so that we will have the opportunity to work elaborately.”

According to the minister, 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 tweeted.

It would be recalled that last month, Russia registered the first COVID-19 vaccine becoming the first nation in the world to lay claim to such a feat.

The first peer-reviewed results of Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, which is named Sputnik-V, have been published in the medical journal The Lancet on Friday, according to CNN.

Russia faced criticism last month when it announced the world’s first approved coronavirus vaccine for public use, even before Phase 3 trials are completed.

A vaccine must complete three phases of trials – involving randomized controlled trials on large patient groups – before it could be considered for approval, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Russian-made vaccine is still undergoing phase 3 of clinical trials.

Russia also faced skepticism over how quickly the vaccine was registered and the initial lack of scientific data around the clinical trials.

Health experts in South Africa, the first African country to receive samples of the cure are calling for caution in placing much hope on the new vaccine. They said little is known about the efficacy of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Russian government have announced that it will begin mass vaccinations of its citizens against coronavirus from October.

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