TETFund Inaugurates 1st Home-made COVID-19 Vaccine

0
83

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) on Monday, inaugurated the first indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidate for preclinical trials in Nigeria.

According to Conclave.com, the Vaccine Development Consortium was formed by the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS).

TETFund had in the first instance, collaborated with the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba Lagos, and National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI).

It subsequently involved the University of Jos and National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria.

Speaking at the event, Mr Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary TETFund, described the occasion as a milestone on its sponsored Vaccine Development Mega Research.

Echono said TETFund had been making concerted efforts aimed at identifying more innovative ways of using government and donor funding in research programmes and projects for maximum developmental impact.

“This is the basis of the institution of the Mega Research intervention by the Fund.

“The Intervention aims to strengthen decentralised cooperation involving clusters of researchers from different institutions to consolidate problem solving research and promote Innovation in Nigeria,” he said.

According to the executive secretary, the project is one out of the four projects supported by the fund at a total collaborative research by promoting sum of NI.25 billion.

He said the project had shown that collaboration among stakeholders, to address issues of national priority would achieve the desired goals towards national development and tackling of developmental challenges.

“It also indicates to us that we are moving in the right direction, as one of the mandates of the fund’s research and development department, is to promote multi disciplinary research,” he added.

Echono congratulated the group on the achievement and encouraged it not to relent in sustained efforts towards achieving the overarching goal of delivering a home-made COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier, Prof. Lawal Bilbis, the Vice-Chancellor of UDUS, said the motive behind the development followed the terrible and unacceptable state of the country’s vaccine production capacity.

“More than 90 per cent of the vaccines used in Nigeria are imported from abroad through foreign donors.

“The COVID-19 pandemic had made us realise and understand that all multilateral agreements between Africa and other nations of the world can easily be disrupted in the event of global health crisis.

“This, therefore, left us with no option but to promote self sufficiency through local vaccine research and development projects, using the biomedical scientists present in some of our universities and research institutes across the country.

“We decided to form a Vaccine Development Consortium with a view to bringing unique sets of skills to mastermind the development of the first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.

Bilbis assured the fund that the nation was very close to reaping the benefits of the investment, adding, “we will, by the special grace of God, converge in the next few months to celebrate its successful completion.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here