Written by Godfrey AKON

Varsity scientists ‘discover’ vaccine for Covid-19

As the scientific race to find a cure for the deadly Covid-19 pandemic continues globally, some scientific researchers in Nigerian universities have announced the discovery of a vaccine for the prevention of the virus.

The Covid-19 Research Group, led by a Specialist in Medical Virology, Immunology and Bioinformatics at Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State, Dr Oladipo Kolawole, announced the discovery at a press briefing in Ede.

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.

The researchers, who could not immediately give the name of the vaccine, said after trying out some selected processes of vaccine development, they have been able to choose the best potential vaccine candidates for the SARS-CoV-2 and had made the possible latent vaccine constructs.

According to him, the research was carried out at the Genomics Research Hub of Helix Biogen Consult in Ogbomoso.

He further disclosed that the study was coordinated by Professor Julius Oloke, the Vice-Chancellor of Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, which is collaborating with Adeleke University to fund the research.

He said the vaccine would take a minimum of 18 months to be unveiled to the Nigerian public because a lot of analysis and studies as well as approvals by medical authorities were still required.

On the clinical trial of the vaccine, he said the group had started plans to start the animal trial of the developed potential vaccine candidates.

He disclosed that the study which led to the discovery of the vaccine had enjoyed initial funding by Trinity Immunodeficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomosho, to the tune of about N7.8m.

While stating that the vaccine was being developed locally in Africa for Africans, he however, assured that it would also work for other races.

“It’s 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’s 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 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 vaccine,” Head of the Coordinating Unit of the Research Group and Vice Chancellor of Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, Julius Oloke said.

Oloke lauded the collaboration between Adeleke University and Precious Cornerstone University on the discovery of the vaccine.



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