By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
The Presidential Task Force, PTF, said Nigeria would not be left out of the global public health trial of COVID-19 vaccines, this is following the global wait for effective vaccine for the virus.Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha disclosed this Monday during the National PTF briefing in Abuja. Mustapha said, “What the world still awaits is the arrival of an effective vaccine. The PTF updated you last week about the progress made with candidate vaccines and the phases of the trials.” “We also assured you that Nigeria will not be left out when eventually access is needed for a safe and effective vaccine certified by global public health authorities.” The PTF said that however Nigeria and other countries should not expect the vaccines to be available till the second half of 2021, adding that Nigerians need to adhere to prescribed NPIs to avoid contracting the virus.He said that although the number of cases in Africa is flattering there is also a weekly decline of the virus in Nigeria with a downward trend of fatalities. PTF said that WHO is collaborating with the Africa CDC to launch a network of laboratories dedicated to genetic sequencing to give a better understand the evolution of the pandemic and how SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is spreading.Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire at the briefing said that although the country is recording declining positive rates every day, the PTF is reluctant to conclude that there is a halting the spread of disease, because some states have not sustained the testing rate that would give us more assurance.