As Nigeria continues with its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the COVAX facility, scientists at home have produced a couple of vaccine candidates awaiting approval. Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, says these vaccines produced locally will soon undergo clinical trials before they are approved by the regulatory agencies.
"The disclosure that Nigerian scientists have produced at least two local COVID-19 vaccines which are awaiting clinical trials and certification is significant," Mustapha says.
"This is a welcome development that will open a new vista in scientific breakthrough and will boost the morale and image of the medical industry in the country.
"I call on all relevant agencies to provide the required support and enabling environment for smooth conduct of the remaining protocols for the certification of these vaccines with a view to encouraging and motivating other researchers," he adds.
Nigeria recently took delivery of 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by telecoms firm MTN.
Million more doses of vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are expected to be shipped to Nigeria in the next couple of months.
The federal government says it aims to vaccinate approximately 109 million Nigerians against COVID-19 over the next two years.