Nigerian doctors say no vaccine trials, no vaccination
London, Dec. 28, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Nigerian doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says COVID-19 vaccines imported into the country must undergo clinical trial before it is administered to Nigerians.
The NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, who made this known while featuring on a local TV station Channels TV, said reactions to vaccines differ among different races, hence the need for a thorough trials
“Because of the biology, because of the environment, because of our genetic composition, we need to do our own clinical trials very quickly before it can be used on Nigerians”.
“Recall that when we were using chloroquine, the southern part was not responding to chloroquine, some parts of the north were. But in totality it was thought that chloroquine was no longer effective and we changed”. He added.
Prof. Ujah added that it was unclear whether in the process of developing the vaccine; any African country was involved in the clinical trials.
Some Nigerian scientists have also kicked against planned roll-out of covid-19 vaccination in the country saying that immunising Nigerians with COVID-19 vaccine when clinical trials have not been done in the country is very risky and should be reconsidered
They also expressed worries over its likely long-term impacts.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, a virologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Sunday Omilabu said Nigeria should exercise caution before accepting to immunise citizens with vaccines that were granted emergency use approval in Europe and the United States and not at home
Omilabu, who is also the director, Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, said it might be very risky to start immunising Nigerians and Africans with the COVID-19 vaccines as they have not gone through the regular scientific process before the emergency approval
A similar opinion was expressed by a Pharmaceutical Research Scientist with the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abuja, Prof. Martin Emeje.
Nigeria expects its batch of vaccines by first quarter of 2021, with the Director-General of the National Centre for Disease Control, Dr. ChikweIhekweazu, saying that 20 percent of the population would have access to the vaccine.
According to the World Health Organisation, while three COVID-19 vaccines have received ‘emergency use approval’ of some national regulatory authorities, none of them has received the pre-qualification by the World Health Organisation.
At the moment, 84414 cases of the coronavirus have been recorded across Nigeria with 1,254 deaths and 71,034 patients discharged so far.