Nigerian Universities’ Scientists, under the platform of COVID-19 Research Group, have announced the discovery of a vaccine for the prevention of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dr Oladipo Kolawole, Leader of the team, at a press conference, said the vaccine was being developed locally in Africa for Africans.
Kolawole, a Specialist in Medical Virology, Immunology and Bioinformatics, at Adeleke University, Ede, however, said the vaccine would also work for other continents when unveiled.
He said the study, which led to the discovery of the vaccine, had enjoyed initial funding by the Trinity Immunodeficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomosho, to the tune of about N7.8 million.
Kolawole said the group had been working extensively by exploring the SARS-CoV-2 genome from African countries to select the best possible potential vaccine candidates.
He said after trying out some selected processes of vaccine development, the researchers had been able to choose the best potential vaccine candidates for the SARS-CoV-2 and had made the possible latent vaccine constructs.
Kolawole said that it would take a minimum of 18 months for the vaccine to be unveiled to the public as a lot of analysis and studies,; and a approvals by appropriate medical and regulatory authorities were still required.
Professor Solomon Adebola, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of Adeleke University, said the institution was poised to assist in the funding of the research with a view to bringing the vaccine to the limelight.
“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.
Professor Julius Oloke, the Head, Coordinating Unit of the Research Group and Vice-Chancellor of Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, confirmed the efficacy of the vaccine.
“It is a pleasure that we have come together to produce a vaccine at a time that the world is in need of solution to a ravaging pandemic.
“It is a proof that we are working and not folding our hands or looking away from the problem.
“The vaccine is real. We have validated it severally. 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,” Oloke said.