The Federal Government on Friday received samples of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine through Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin who paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire in Abuja.
Others present during the visit were the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; top management of the Health Ministry, and other Nigerian Scientists.
A statement issued by the Director, Information, Media & Public Relations, Mr. Olujimi Oyetomi, said the meeting between the minister and the Russian team centered on the Russian-made Vaccine against COVID-19.
Ehanire stated that Nigeria had been participating in series of knowledge exchanges 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 the right of access immediately the Russian COVID-19 Vaccine was announced.
The Minister equally disclosed that the decision reached was to quickly refer the vaccine to the necessary professional institutes and agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health.
“The consensus of the 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,” he said.
Ehanire said that 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 interest highlighted at the meeting.
Shebarshin said that countries such as U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Mexico had expressed 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 not just for the Russian COVID-19 Vaccine but to explore further disease and health areas where the Russian Federation had the expertise to manage with vaccines.