The presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 says Nigeria has joined the list of countries developing COVID-19 vaccines with two candidates currently awaiting clinical trials.
Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, disclosed this during the PTF national briefing in Abuja on Monday.
On January 18, Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, announced that the federal government had approved N10 billion to support local production of COVID-19 vaccines.
“The ministry of finance has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccine production. While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production in collaboration with recognised institutions,” Ehanire had said.
“We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in country and have had discussions with a producer.”
Speaking on the latest development on local vaccine production on Monday, Mustapha called for collaboration among relevant agencies to ensure that the effort is successful.
“The disclosure that Nigerian scientists have produced at least two local COVID-19 vaccines which are awaiting clinical trials and certification is significant,” he said.
“This is a welcome development that will open a new vista in scientific breakthrough and will boost the morale and image of the medical industry in the country.
“I call on all relevant agencies to provide the required support and enabling environment for smooth conduct of the remaining protocols for the certification of these vaccines with a view to encouraging and motivating other researchers.”
He, however, did not give further detials on the scientists who developed the vaccines.
Meanwhile, the SGF raised concerns on vaccine hesitancy and urged Nigerians to get vaccinated and continue adhering to the COVID-19 protocol.
He also commended MTN Nigeria for delivering 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to the PTF on Sunday.