A group of scientists from some Nigerian universities has discovered a vaccine for prevention of the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has been ravaging the globe.
This followed a research embarked upon by the team under the aegis of COVID-19 Research Group and led by Dr Oladipo Kolawole, a specialist in Medical Virology, Immunology and Bioinformatics, Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State.
Dr Kolawole made the disclosure at the weekend on the university campus during a press briefing while giving some highlights about the vaccine, which name has not been disclosed.
He further disclosed that it had been working extensively by exploring the SARS-CoV-2 genome from African countries to select the best possible potential vaccine candidates.
Dr Kolawole said that after trying out some selected processes of vaccine development, the researchers had been able to choose the best potential vaccine candidates for the SARS-CoV-2 and had made the possible latent vaccine constructs.
The research, he further disclosed, was carried out at the Genomics Research Hub of Helix Biogen Consult in Ogbomoso.
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.
On how soon the vaccine would be unveiled to the public, Dr Kolawole said that
it would take a minimum of 18 months because a lot of analysis and studies as well as approvals by medical authorities were still required.
He added that the research consortium had started plans to start the animal trial of the developed potential vaccine candidates.
Dr Kolawole also 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.
He stressed that the vaccine was being developed locally in Africa for Africans.
He, however, assured that it would work for other races when unveiled.
The Acting Vice Chancellor of Adeleke University, Professor Solomon Adebola, assured of the university’s poise to assist in the funding of the research with a view to bringing the vaccine to limelight.
“The serene environments of Adeleke University is a replica of the Garden of Eden. We are glad that a vaccine that would provide solution to a global problem like coronavirus pandemic is coming from the garden. It is our passion to be a solution provider to such a global pandemic and we are ready to throw our weight behind the team and make the vaccine a reality,” he noted.
Head of the Coordinating Unit of the Research Group and Vice Chancellor of Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan Julius Oloke, commended the collaboration between Adeleke University and Precious Cornerstone University.
“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,” Oloke said.
He added: “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 can not 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.”
Professor Oyawoye, while assuring on the integrity of the vaccine said: “Adeleke University is focused on quality. Whatever we do here meets the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) standard. For environmental factor, COVID-19 varies. But whatever works for us here, can work for others in Africa and the entire globe.”
Other members of the team include Dr Ajayi Folorunsho from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Dr Onile Samson from Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, Dr Ariyo Elijah Olumuyiwa from Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido, Ekiti State as well as Professor Olubukola Oyawoye, Dean, Faculty of Science, Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State.