Russia Ships in controversial COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria, targets more African Nations

The Nigerian Government has received samples of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Russia.

Recall that the development and testing of the vaccine were once subjects of controvery.

The Russian Federation recently announced to the world that it has developed the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine.

President Vladimir Putin also said the vaccine had been tested on one of his daughters.

Russia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, delivered the samples Friday, to Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, during a visit to the ministry in Abuja.

Also present at the event were the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; top management of the health ministry and other Nigerian scientists.

The Director of Information, Media, and Public Relations of Ministry of Health, Olujimi Oyetomi, disclosed this in a statement: “Russian Federation Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Alexey L. Shebarshin on courtesy visit to Nigeria’s Health Ministers, Russian-made COVID-19 Vaccine finally here.”

Ehanire said the vaccine would be “quickly referred” to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as well as the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), amongst other agencies, for review and possible validation.

The minister had said Nigeria was working with the WHO for the allocation of 2 billion vaccine doses as soon as they are available.

Oyetomi, in the statement, said the Russian envoy said he was at the Health Ministry “to formally hand over the Russian-made Vaccine against COVID-19 to Nigeria with an aide memoir which explains the details for Nigerian teams to study and get ready for further researches, patronage and application.”

The spokesperson also quoted the minister of health as saying: “Nigeria has been participating in series of knowledge exchange and contacts with different research bodies and countries to find solutions to the COVID-19 challenge and has contacted the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Nigeria for right of access immediately the Russian COVID-19 Vaccine was announced.”

Oyetomi further stated: “The consensus of 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.

“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 interests highlighted at the meeting.”

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