With more than 17, 000 cases of COVID-19 as of June 17, 2020, Nigeria’s response to stop the spread of the pandemic has been considered struggling. In fact in an interview, a recognized pharmacist in the country, Sam Ohuabunwa, said that the Nigerian government could have done much to curtail the spread of the virus. He pointed out that the Yaba vaccine lab has to be reopened because there is no other vaccine facility in the country.
However, a commendable milestone in the Nigerian medical and health history happened. On Friday, Dr. Oladipo Kolawole, announced the discovery of the COVID-19 vaccine to the media. Kalawole leads a group of Nigerian scientists from Adeleke University in Nigeria’s Eda. In the said conference, he said that the vaccine was locally developed for Africans but he assured that it will also work for other races.
The discovery of the vaccine was made possible by a study, which enjoyed initial funding of about 7.8 million Nigerian nairas ($20,000) from Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomosho, and Trinity Immunodeficient Laboratory. His team explored the virus genome from African samples to select the best possible potential candidates for the vaccine. In the said conference, Kolawole also announced that the vaccine will be made available to the public in a span of at least 18 months.
Before its approval for widespread use, the vaccine will have to go through significant amount of studies and analyses, and approvals from medical authorities.
He went on saying that,
“We are glad that a vaccine that will provide a solution to a global problem like Coronavirus pandemic is coming from the garden. “It is our passion to be a solution provider to such a global pandemic, and we are ready to throw our weights behind the team and make the vaccine a reality. “
Prof. Julius Oloke, the Head, Coordinating Unit of the Research Group vouched for the legitimacy of the vaccine.
In the same conference he said,
“It’s a pleasure that we have come together to produce a vaccine at a time that the world is in need of solution to a ravaging pandemic. It’s a proof that we are working and not folding our hands or looking away from the problem. The vaccine is real. We have validated it severally. It is targeted at Africans, but will also work for other races. It will work. It cannot be faked. This is a result of the determination. It took a lot of scientific efforts.”
As of this writing, there are 8,906,137 reported COVID-19 cases around the world. 466,253 deaths were reported and 4,732,766 recovered. The United States have recorded more than two million cases and Brazil has more than one million cases.