Nigerian-made Covid-19 Vaccine for Trial November


www.2n-network.com/Benin City
August 26, 2022.

A Covid-19 vaccine developed by a Nigerian researchers but sponsored by the federal government is set for trial by November.


The research teal leader and Vice Chancellor, Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Prof Lawal Bilbis, made the announcement while briefing the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono in Abuja.


In a statement titled, ‘TETFund-sponsored COVID-19 vaccine ready for trial November’, Prof Bilbis, explained that a breakthrough in the journey for the Nigerian Covid-19 vaccine became possible as a result of the support received from TETfund.


According to him, the vaccine was evolved from TETFund’s mega research intervention grant to a cluster of researchers from five different institutions across the country, including the National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Jos, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos and National Research Institute for Chemical Technology, Zaria, selected to consolidate problem-solving research and promote innovation in the country.


TETFund believed in us and supported us to get to where we are now. That is why we have come to give a firsthand report on the progress made so far,” Prof Bilbis said.


While making his presentation, a member of the research team, Dr Bashir Bello of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, disclosed that developing an indigenous Covid-19 vaccine became a matter of urgency for Africa particularly given that the continent imported an estimated 99% of its vaccine even as it consumes 25% of global supply. The urgency, he noted, made the TETFund grant a huge relief.


We graciously got the support of TETFund not only in COVID-19, but also in Lassa Fever and other infectious diseases because whether we like it or not, diseases will continue to emerge and re-emerge. They don’t have international boundaries and that is why they are called pandemic.


“That was when we realised that we really need to sit up. Those producing these vaccines abroad are mostly Nigerians after all. So why can’t we do it here? That is why we decided to form a consortium, and TETFund was magnanimous to release N225m for the first tranche
.”

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