The Federal Government is yet to receive the Russian vaccine for COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of State for Health Dr. Adeleke Mamora announced on Thursday.
The minister stated that all the Ministry of Health got was a memoir, which is simply a diplomatic document informing Nigeria of what Russia is working on.
He further stated that the Russian vaccine is still in the third phase of a clinical trial, and will still be evaluated for safety and efficacy by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), before being consumed by Nigerians.
Mamora made this known during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.
He said: “The Federal Government has reiterated that the country has not received the Russian vaccine yet; only a memoir was communicated by the Russian Ambassador to Nigeria. It stated that the vaccine is not ready for use yet, as it is still in the third stage of trials.
“Some of you must have heard some days ago that the Russians supplied us with some vaccines, this is absolutely false. The Russian Ambassador to Nigeria visited in the company of the deputy head of mission, and all they did was to just bring a memoir – which is a kind of diplomatic communication to let us know that they are working on the vaccine and it is still in the third phase of the clinical trial.
“The third phase is the last phase where you will now have thousands volunteer being administered with the vaccine. That does not end the process; they still have to be followed up for about a year to see whether complications or side effects will manifest.
“So, at this point in time, that vaccine is yet to get to that stage, talk less of being released even in Russia. Even when the vaccine is ready at all, it will still be subjected to our own processes here. That is why we have NAFDAC and NIPRD.”