Why government may not rush to give Nigerians vaccines – Scientists

Nigerian scientists have stated that Nigerians may not have access to the Covid-19 vaccines as the government may not rush to administer it.

According to the scientists, immunizing Nigerians with COVID-19 vaccine when clinical trials have not been done in the country is very risky and should be reconsidered.

They also expressed worries over its likely long-term impacts.

Nigeria expects its batch of vaccines by first quarter of 2021, with the Director-General of the National Centre for Disease Control, Dr. ChikweIhekweazu, saying that 20 percent of the population would have access to the vaccine.

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Speaking on the issue, avirologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Sunday Omilabu; and a Pharmaceutical Research Scientist with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abuja, Prof. Martin Emeje, are of the view that immunising Nigerians with COVID-19 vaccine when clinical trials were not done in the country is very risky and should be reconsidered.

According to the World Health Organisation, while three COVID-19 vaccines have received ‘emergency use approval’ of some national regulatory authorities, none of them has received the pre-qualification by the WorldHealthOrganisation.

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The WHO, however, disclosed that an assessment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected by the end of December, adding that assessment of other vaccine candidates will follow thereafter.

According to Nature, the fastest any vaccine had previously been developed, from viral sampling to approval, was four years, and that was for mumps in the 1960s.

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