The Federal Government has been advised to consider long-term investments into clinical procedures that will help the country become a notable producer of vaccines.
Renowned Educationist and Scientist, Professor Oyewale Tomori stated this at the eleventh annual symposium of Health Writers Association of Nigeria, in Lagos.
Speaking on the role of government in the production of vaccines in the country, Professor Tomori who stated that political bureaucracy had hindered the feat, noted that with the right funding and attitude, the country would be less reliant on foreign help during public health crisis.
“You have the duty to protect not just yourself, but other people. For a country that has embraced vaccines, and Delta is killing your people, and now you hear there’s a Omicron variant stronger than Delta, you will open your door and say everybody come in? No”.
He said Africa must build its own capacity on vaccine production, as well as improve confidence in its use.
The veteran virologist who recalled that in the 1950s, the country sold World Health Organisation approved vaccines to some neighbouring countries said that with availability of capacity and political will, the country’s health sector would be revived.
In a remark, the Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye reiterated that vaccination had been the only proven solution to public health issues.
The NAFDAC DG who was represented by Dr. Monica Emunjeze assured Nigerians of the safety of Covid-19 vaccines, added that it would continue to monitor the exercise as a regulatory agency.
“We have a regulatory system in place that is effective, we must have a system in place for clinical trial regulation, for inspection of facilities that can produce vaccines ..
Contributing, the former Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Professor Akin Oshibogun said health writers had the responsibility of creating awareness and changing the misconceptions about Covid-19 vaccines.
“We carried out research to look for side effects of the Vaccination.. And we collected data from One thousand, two hundred and eighty-four vaccinated persons across the country. And we have followed them up for about three to four months. I am happy to say that non of the died or was hospitalized.They had some complains like pain at injection site, and I am sure that there’s nobody that will be given injection that will not feel pain, but all those complains disappeared within two or three days. So our conclusion is that the Vaccines are safe”.
Earlier in the address of welcome, President of Health Writers Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Chioma Obinna called on her colleagues to be courageous in reporting facts about the Covid-19 pandemic, to reduce vaccination apathy.
“Many of us are not vaccinated today, even among journalist, we still have Vaccine apathy. I encourage all of us to be get the COVID-19 Vaccines.”
The event, with the theme “Building confidence in Covid-19 Vaccines,” had in attendance health care professionals and health correspondents from various media organizations.