Last month, Russia became the first country to approve a vaccine for the virus that has infected over 26 million and killed nearly 900,000 people across the world.
Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, presented the vaccine to Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Friday, September 4, 2020.
Shebarshin handed over the vaccine with an aide memoir which he said explains the details for Nigerian teams to study as a guide for further research, patronage and application.
The ambassador requested that Nigeria puts together a team to interface with his embassy to drive the process of human trials.
He said this in relation to not just vaccines for COVID-19, but other areas where the Russian Federation has expertise to manage with vaccines.
Ehanire, according to a statement by the Ministry of Health, said at the meeting Nigeria has been participating in a series of knowledge exchange and contacts with different research bodies and countries to find solutions to the COVID-19 challenge.
He said Nigeria contacted Russia for right of access to its vaccine immediately the European giant announced its breakthrough.
“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,” the health ministry said in its statement.
Sputnik V is based on an adenoviral vector which normally causes acute respiratory viral infections, according to Russian authorities.
“The gene from adenovirus, which causes the infection, is removed while a gene with the code of a protein from another virus spike is inserted.
“This inserted element is safe for the body but still helps the immune system to react and produce antibodies, which protect us from the infection,” a website created for the vaccine says.
Sputnik V passed early trial tests with patients involved developing antibodies with no serious adverse effects, according to a research article published in UK journal, The Lancet, on Friday.
Experts in the West have warned against the mass use of the vaccine until all internationally approved testing and regulatory steps have been taken.
Source: Pulse Nigeria.