Nigeria scientists claim to have developed vaccine against Covid-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 23, 2020

A team of scientists from Nigeria claimed to have discovered a vaccine that can combat the novel coronavirus, according to local media quoted in a Times Now report.

The discovery of the vaccine was announced on Friday by Nigerian Universities’ Scientists, under the aegis of Covid-19 Research Group. This comes at a time when the world is still struggling to get a vaccine against the deadly contagion, which has killed 4,65,300 people globally.

Dr Oladipo Kolawole, a specialist in Medical Virology, Immunology and Bioinformatics, at Adeleke University, Ede in Osun, and leader of the research team, said during a news conference that the vaccine was being developed locally in Africa for Africans, reported The Guardian Nigeria. According to Kolawole, the unnamed vaccine, when unveiled, would also work for other races.

Kolawole, however, maintained that they would require another 18 months to make the vaccine available for mass consumption since they need to secure approvals from medical authorities and analyse the vaccine further.

Kolawole said the research initially received funding - roughly 7.8 million Nigerian nairas ($20,000) - from the Trinity Immunodeficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomosho.

He further added that the team had been working extensively by exploring the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from samples across Africa to select the best potential vaccine candidates.

He added that the researchers had been able to pick the best potential Covid-19 vaccine candidates and had made the possible latent constructs after trying out some selected processes of vaccine development.

Meanwhile, Solomon Adebola, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, said the university was poised to assist in the funding of the research with a view to bringing the vaccine to the limelight, the report added.

“We are glad that a vaccine that will provide a solution to a global problem like coronavirus pandemic is coming from the garden. It is our passion to be a solution provider to such a global pandemic, and we are ready to throw our weights behind the team and make the vaccine a reality,” Adebola said as quoted in the Times Now report.

“The vaccine is real. We have validated it several times. It is targeted at Africans, but will also work for other races. It will work. It cannot be faked. This is a result of the determination. It took a lot of scientific efforts. The population of those that need vaccines is more than those that need drugs. That is why the research focussed on a vaccine,” said Julius Oloke, the Head, Coordinating Unit of the Research Group and Vice-Chancellor of Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan quoted as saying by TimesNow report.

Published on June 23, 2020

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