The Russian Government on Friday presented samples of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the country, to it’s Nigerian counterpart.
The Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, made the presentation to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, during a visit to the ministry in Abuja, alongside the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; top management of the Health Ministry and other Nigerian Scientists.
The Director of information in the Ministry of Health, Olujimi Oyetomi revealed this in a statement on Friday.
The statement was titled, ‘Russian Federation Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Alexey L. Shebarshin on courtesy visit to Nigeria’s Health Ministers, Russian-made COVID-19 Vaccine finally here.’
According to the statement, Ehanire said the vaccine would be “quickly referred” to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control as well as the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, amongst other agencies, for review and possible validation.
The minister further disclosed that Nigeria was working with the WHO for the allocation of 2 billion vaccine doses as soon as they are available.
Oyetomi also revealed that the Russian envoy said he was at the Health Ministry “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 further qouted Ehanire as saying: “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 and had contacted the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria for right of access immediately the Russian COVID-19 Vaccine was announced.
“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 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 interests highlighted at the meeting.”