MINISTER of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says the Federal Government will support the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC), in researches into the development of a vaccine for coronavirus.
At the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 joint briefing on Friday in Abuja, Enahire said the aim is to ensure that NAFDAC researches meet international standards.
He said the government would support NAFDAC to reach international maturity level and encourage researchers to work towards the development of vaccines for the virus.
The minister said a recent World Health Organisation (WHO), African Regional Conference, virtual conference focused on COVID-19 and on vaccines.
Noting that Nigeria participated in the WHO African Regional Conference, he said, “we shall sustain our interest in developments around COVID-19 and seek opportunities to exchange ideas with countries and organisations investing in new knowledge.
“NAFDAC is also trying to assure that the processes that come out of research work in Nigeria towards the development of vaccine candidates are realizable.
“Our safest and cheapest option of achieving a balance between saving livelihood and saving lives remains adherence to non-pharmaceutical measures.”
The minister urged Nigerians not to relax in observing COVID-19 preventive measures, saying that “with these measures, we can balance and uphold our indices, even as we reopen our economy.”
With the imperative to reopen the economy, relax local and international air travel to support restoration of livelihoods, the minister noted that the experience in other countries was that COVID-19 infection rates have gone up and in some cases, dramatically.