COVID-19: Vaccines not expected until 2021- FG

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the containment of the Covid-19, Boss Mustapha has disclosed that the Vaccines for the cure of the covid -19 are not expected in Nigeria until the end of 2021, stressing that manufacturers of the vaccines are still in the process of validating them.

Boss Mustapha SGF/Chairman, COVID-19 Presidential Task Force

The disclosure was made during the daily briefing of the task force in Abuja Tuesday.

“From the little literature I have read about Covid 19, we are not expecting any vaccines to be on the shelve until towards the end of 2021; that is for even industries that have perfected the processes of manufacturing these vaccines.’’

The SGF’s reaction was sequel to the alleged production of the drugs by some Nigerian researchers and manufacturers even as he advised that as much as it is encouraging that Nigerians are trying to find cure for the pandemic, their alleged cure must be subjected to the process of safety validation before they could be certified safe.

“My encouragement to our people, our researchers and those that are in the processes of manufacturing drugs and cure, is that they should be patient and they should run it through a process. That is the only way we can have it validated so that at the end of the day, if their drugs are certified okay, they will receive appropriate validation,” he said.

He pointed out that most of the reported cases of the prescribed cure for the virus are on the social media, adding that there is nothing definitive about that.

On the reported case of drugs from Madagascar, coming into Nigeria, Sani Aliyu,the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force, said Madagascar drugs were to be subjected to proper safety, efficacy as well.

“I want to state again that any medication coming into the country, whether it is a herbal cure, concoction or proper cure has to be subjected to a normal regulatory process.  The Madagascar cure would be subjected to the normal process we expect within the legal frameworks and guidelines that we have and more importantly not only to establish the drug efficacy but the drug’s safety,” he said.

The Coordinator pointed to the position of NAFDAC stating that no drug can be manufactured, imported, exported, advertised and sold and be distributed in the country unless legally registered.

He added that as expected these drugs should pass through stringent test before being administered to anybody within the country.

As regards intrastate travel, Sani said the PTF has continued to recieve disturbing trends wherein vehicles are coming in carrying a large set of people and crossing state borders.

“Movement of people across state borders are against the process and we urge the public to please refrain from interstate travel.

“Only travel involving essentials and conveyance of essential goods is allowed. Movement across states is fastracking the spread of the pandemic,” he said.

He also advised the state governments to increase those measures that are required to keep people within the state borders.

He urged the public to abide by the lockdown guidelines as they are for their own safety in order to limit the spread of the virus during these times.

“We are also calling on everyone who has symptoms consistent with Covid-19 to get in touch with our help lines. It is only by ensuring absolute compliance that we can overcome this pandemic,” he advised.

CBN developing framework Grants to Researchers and Science institutions

Meanwhile, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says a framework for grants and long term facilities is being put together and will be provided to researchers, science institutions and biotechnology firms to develop the Vaccine in Nigeria.

Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, disclosed this at the unveiling of the ThisDay Dome COVID-19  Testing, Tracing and Treatment Center, Abuja.

“If we are to wait for foreign countries to develop their own vaccines, we will be the last in the queue to receive curative remedies for our teeming population,” Emefiele said.

He challenged Nigerian scientists at home and in the diaspora to go back to their laboratories and develop a Nigerian vaccine.

Source: Business Day

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