Contrary to media reports, the Federal Government said on Thursday that it never received the Russian COVID-19 vaccine from its Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Alexey Shebarshin.
According to the Minister of State for Health, Dr Adeleke Mamora, what the Ministry of Health got from the Ambassador was a “memoir’’which is simply a diplomatic document informing Nigeria of what Russia is working on’’.
Persecondnews recalls that the media was awash with stories that the Federal Government had last Friday announced that it had received samples of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine from Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria during his visit to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.
Mamora, who spoke at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, said the Russian vaccine is still in the third phase of clinical trial and will still be evaluated for safety and efficacy by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) before it is approved for Nigerians.
“Even when the vaccine is ready at all, it will still be subjected to our own processes here. That is why we have NAFDAC and NIPRD.
“The vaccines will be analyzed and checked for safety, and of course the issue of efficacy, because vaccines are things that you give mass application.
“So you we cannot afford to take chances – you need to check and establish the safety, and in so doing, you want to look at the various segments of the society – children, adults, the elderly and of course those with co-morbidities.
“As the last count, we had close to 230 vaccine candidates. This race for releasing vaccines has gone beyond the human race but the rat race,” he said.