The development of an anti-COVID-19 vaccine is underway, as disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
While stating that the country wasn’t yet where it should be, he said that it wasn’t where it was when the pandemic started.
In a statement titled “Not yet where we want, but we are making significant progress in public health sector, says Osinbajo,” issued by Osinbajo’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the VP commended the efforts of health workers in the country.
He noted that the efforts of health workers happen “in the background and in the shadows”, but their hard work is one that “builds nations and saves lives”.
He stated, “We have activated nearly 120 laboratories nationwide – 70 of them public laboratories – and have significantly ramped up our testing and case management capacity.
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“We have expanded the footprint of our sovereign public health response capabilities especially at the subnational level and in areas where previously such capabilities did not exist.
“Not so long ago, test samples had to be flown out of the country for examination. This is no longer the case as we now have the capacity to process samples internally.
“While we are not yet where we want to be as a nation, we are most certainly not where we were at the onset of the pandemic.
“Thousands of health professionals have been working tirelessly on Nigeria’s COVID-19 public health response.
“From the people across sample collection sites and laboratories ensuring testing, and our dedicated physicians, nurses and other health workers in treatment centres providing care to the sick, to our medical scientists that are conducting research on various aspects of this plague.
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“We also have state public health teams working hard to ensure data reporting and analysis, contact tracing, risk communications and so much more.
“Within this period, you have all worked extremely hard to activate testing in all states of our country, you have increased our knowledge of this disease, grown our capacity to swiftly identify those infected by the plague and render aid to them.
“Often it happens in the background and in the shadows, away from public attention and it will not often grab the headlines. But it only seems this way. In truth, this is the sort of work that builds nations and saves lives.
“When the record of our response to this unprecedented threat to our public health is written, the efforts of our healthcare professionals will occupy a significant place with the thanks of a grateful nation.”
Local COVID-19 Vaccine
The Vice President also noted the ongoing work to develop a local vaccine against COVID-19.
“Last week I was in briefing meetings, listening to the landmark research of a team of Professors from LUTH who are investigating the efficacy of some of the drugs in the therapeutic management of COVID-19 and are researching its prophylactic use.
“A few days later, I was listening to Prof Christian Happi and his team who have produced a ground-breaking COVID-19 rapid test, but more remarkably, are developing a Nigerian anti-COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.