The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday says Nigeria has secured two vaccines from Russia and India through bilateral negotiation.
It further disclosed that the vaccines are currently being evaluated by the nation’s drug regulatory body, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, to assess their efficacy.
In his address at the daily briefing of the PTF on COVID-19 monitored on Monday in Abuja, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, identified the Russia’s vaccine as ‘Gam-COVID-Vac,’ otherwise known as Sputnik V.
“Nigeria has subscribed to the African approach to ensure we and our neighbours are safe.
“We shall be offered over 42 million of doses. And if the projected vaccines we are talking about come to fruition, we estimate that we should have covered 45 percent of eligible Nigerians through vaccination before the end of the year.
“In addition to this proposed sources of vaccines, Nigeria is having bilateral negotiations with Russia over the Sputnik V vaccine, which they are willing to give us and also with the Indian High Commissioner over vaccine from the Bharat Institute of India,” he said.
Ehanire announced that the samples of the individual vaccine have been delivered to the NAFDAC, which is expected to evaluate them.
“Those vaccine doses have been submitted to Nigeria and handed over to NAFDAC. They are currently under evaluation,” he said.
A late stage trial results published on a peer-reviewed journal, The Lancet, on February 2 reported that Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine gives up to 92 percent protection against the virus.
The BBC also reported that Russia’s vaccine, which initially met with some forms of controversy after it was rolled out before the final trial date, had been given a clean bill of slate.
“It joins the ranks of proven vaccines alongside Pfizer, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Janssen.
“The Sputnik vaccine works in a similar way to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab developed in the UK, and the Janssen vaccine developed in Belgium.
“It uses a cold-type virus, engineered to be harmless, as a carrier to deliver a small fragment of the coronavirus to the body.
“Safely exposing the body to part of the virus’s genetic code in this way allows it to recognise the threat and learn to fight it off, without risking becoming ill,” BBC had reported.
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