It's time we started talking about local vaccine production: Osinbajo

By The Rainbow
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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said the current coronavirus pandemic provides opportunity for serious thinking by Nigerians on how to produce their own vaccines.

For him, it is time Nigeria started a discussion on how to ramp up capacity to be able to manufacture vaccines locally.

Many western and Asian countries have made breakthrough in the production of vaccines, but no African country is in the picture yet.

Countries such as the US, UK, Russia, and China that have rolled out mass vaccination programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Channels TV report, Nigeria is expecting to take delivery of some 100,000 vaccine shots by the end of January, which will make little impact in a country of 200 million people.

The statement reads in part, “We are at a point where we can gain tremendously as a people from this pandemic and a lot of what has been said will really help in putting this in perspective for us as government, so we can actually go out and resolve many of these problems and improve the environment for ourselves, and for the coming generations in particular,” Osinbajo said, as quoted in a statement released by his media aide, Laolu Akande.

“I think that we must be talking now about local vaccine production, improving the training of laboratory scientists, and generally improving our capacity to respond in various ways.

“We must really focus on the opportunities that this period really gives us. What I have noticed is that unless something like this happens, we are very frequently relaxed and just hope for the best. I think we are in a position now where we can do a lot. In fact, there is an opportunity to do more in terms of government funding.

“So, I think this is a major responsibility for us, the government, at this time, to really look at how we can, at least, do much better in terms of preparing young men and women for the challenges ahead. This point was also made about the quality of laboratory scientists and the quality of medical personnel and paramedics and all that.”