Nigeria has announced the receipt of vials of “Sputnik V” the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, which the East European super power said it had developed against the dreaded Coronavirus disease and unveiled to the public on the 15th of last month.
The drug, which Russian President, Vladmir Putin, had declared safe and effective, having been used on his daughter without adverse effects, was delivered to the Nigerian authorities earlier today by Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin.
Confirming the development in a statement earlier today in Abuja, the FCT, Olujimi Oyetomi, spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Health quoted the Russian Envoy as saying he had visited the Health Ministry “to formally hand over the Russian-made Vaccine against COVID-19 to Nigeria with an aide memoir explaining the details for Nigerian teams to study and get ready for further researches, patronage and application.”
The samples were said to have been delivered to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora; top officials of the Health Ministry and other Nigerian scientists during the Ambassador’s visit to the ministry in Abuja.
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.
“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 statement read in part, adding:
“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.”