Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ihanire, has cried out over the clog on the path of Nigeria’s breakthrough in the production of a potent vaccine against covid-19.
Dr Ehanire made the disclosure on Thursday at a media parley organized by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when he revealed that though at least one Nigerian researcher has developed a vaccine candidate with promising effects on the virus in terms of success probability. He disclosed that the road to successful clinical trials has been clogged by lack of sponsorship and inability of the researchers to raise the cost which he put at $1.5m
Apparently nonplus about how to secure the trial funds, the minister disclosed that there are about three Nigerian laboratories with vaccine candidates with a fourth based in Maryland, USA. He added however, that the federal government may have to look for sponsors who are willing to recoup their investment after a successful completion of the trials. A vaccine candidate, according to him, is when a researcher is able to produce antigen.
“One of our researchers here who has produced such a candidate, I asked him, how much do you think you’ll need to go through these clinical trials in three phases? At least $1.5 million. That’s a lot. Do we have that now to test a vaccine? Well, we say we look for sources where we can get the sponsors, because the sponsorship is what you need.
“…There are at least two, perhaps even three, Nigerian laboratories that have developed what you call vaccine candidates. In fact, yesterday, we also talked to a fourth Nigerian laboratory, based in Maryland, USA, he has also produced his own vaccine candidate.”
“Now, you have to do what is called the clinical trials; clinical trial means you testing it to make sure that it’s safe and it doesn’t cause a problem. Secondly, that it does what it promises to do; generate antibodies in your system,” Dr Ehanire explained.
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