The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) has said that two locally made vaccines are currently awaiting clinical trial and certification.
The PTF, which disclosed this during its weekly briefing on Monday in Abuja, said the vaccines were developed by Nigerian scientists.
The chairman of the task force and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, called on relevant agencies in the country to provide the support required for the vaccines to be certified if they scale through the trial stage.
“The disclosure that Nigerian Scientists have produced at least two local COVID – 19 vaccines which are awaiting clinical trials and certification is significant.
“I call on all relevant agencies to provide the required support and an enabling environment for smooth conduct of the remaining protocols for the certification of these vaccines with a view to encouraging and motivating other researchers,” Mustapha said.
At the meeting, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire brought to the fore reports of racketeering of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in some vaccination centres.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Abdullaziz Mashi Abdullahi, noted that the fraudulent act was unnecessary as the inoculation process was in phases, starting with frontline health workers and those at higher risk of the infection.
Reiterating the stand of the FG on the AstraZeneca vaccine, the minister disclosed that the government met with the manufacturers at the ministry and the outcome was reassuring.
“The outcome of the meeting was a reassurance of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine against Covid-19. We have not yet recorded unusual side effects among those who have received the vaccine which include me. NAFDAC is monitoring the process as part of a global tracking of adverse effects of the vaccine,” he said.
The PTF also acknowledged the decline in the number of cases in the country, stating that over 1,727,467 samples had been tested with a test rate of 9.4 per cent.
“While this is good, we shall not on account of this, rest on our laurels for it is still too early to do so,” it said
As of Monday, the country had recorded 161,868 new cases of the virus; 148,125 recoveries and 2,030 deaths.