NIGERIA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russia to supply it with any coronavirus vaccine when it becomes readily available so the populace can have access to treatment.
Since the pandemic broke out early this year, several countries have been battling to develop a vaccine, with Russia close to having one ready. Named Sputnik, the Russian vaccine is currently going through the last phases of trials and is expected to be available within the next few weeks.
To ensure Nigeria has access to the vaccine when it is ready, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s health minister signed the MoU with the Russian Federation’s ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin. Under the terms of the deal, when it becomes available, the vaccine would be forwarded to the National Agency for Drug and Food Administration and Control (Nafdac) and the Nigeria Institute for Pharmaceutical Development (NIPRD) for evaluation.
According to Dr Ehanire, a ministerial team would be raised to continue further engagement with the Russian embassy in Nigeria in the vaccine, as well as other areas of interests highlighted at the meeting. Also at the signing were Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, the minister of state for health and several Nigerian scientists and researchers.
Dr Ehanire stated that Nigeria has been participating in series of knowledge-exchanges with different research bodies and countries to find solutions to the Covid-19. Mr Shebarshin added that other countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Mexico have expressed an interest in the Russian Covid-19 vaccine and requested that Nigeria puts together a team to interface with his embassy to drive the process of human trials.