Coronavirus

Nigeria receives world's first registered Covid-19 vaccine from Russia

The federal government of Nigeria was handed samples of the first Covid-19 vaccine that Russia registered last month, by a delegation headed by the Russian ambassador in Nigeria.

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Nigeria receives world's first registered Covid-19 vaccine from Russia
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI AFP

On Friday, the Nigerian Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, received samples of the first officially registered Covid-19 vaccine, 'Sputnik V', from the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin.

Sputnik V arrives in Nigeria

Shebarshin presented the samples with a guiding aide memoir that will help Nigerian medical teams while conducting further research, as the vaccine will be subject to studies by professional institutes in Nigeria.

The Russian ambassador suggested that Nigeria puts together a team to cooperate with the embassy in order to start implementing human trials. He added this collaboration doesn't have to be applied only with Covid-19 related issues, but in several areas where the Russians have expertise.

On the other hand, minister Ehanire stated that Nigeria has been taking part in several knowledge exchange programs and is in contact with different research bodies and countries to put an end to the novel coronavirus pandemic. He affirmed that Nigeria contacted Russia for the right of access to its vaccine as soon as it announced its breakthrough.

"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," the health ministry said in a statement.

According to a research article published on Friday in the UK journal, The Lancet, Sputnik V passed early trial tests conducted on patients as it helped develop antibodies without causing any serious side effects. Experts in the West, however, don't advocate the mass use of the vaccine until it undergoes all the necessary procedures and regulatory steps including getting internationally approved.