COVID-19 Vaccine and What Africans Should Know – Dr Imoesi

As African countries gear up for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for their population, a UK-based Nigerian researcher has hinted on what Africans or African government should consider before procuring any type of vaccine(s).

Dr Peter Imoesi, a Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, revealed that the vaccine should be administered based on manufacturers recommendation as a there are a few persons that may not be eligible for some of the vaccines based on clinical trials test.

Advising the Nigerian and other African governments to conduct clinical trials of the vaccine before administering it on the population, Dr Imoesi said the technicalities of vaccines makes copycatting not the best path to trail.

Citing examples, he said the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is meant for people aged 18 and above. He added that based on clinical trial e.g., Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are not recommended for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy as the vaccines is yet to be tested on pregnant women and, nursing mothers. Also, people with psychiatric conditions, persons suffering from Hepatitis A, B, C, and HIV. 

He said Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine has been contraindicated in pregnant women, and people below the age of 18, 

Dr Imoesi added that it should not be administered on people who have undergone a mRNA vaccine clinical trial before (as there could be a cross reaction from component from which the vaccine is made) and people who have allergies. However, he added that, people that have allergies and hypersensitivity reactions may take it under a controlled environment.

He said since there are not robust medical records or information on most Nigerian, whatever vaccine the country choose to deploy, such vaccines should be administered with caution.

Read: Nigeria Announces Distribution Plans For COVID-19 Vaccines

“Nigerians don’t know if they have Hepatitis A, B, C or even HIV. Some Nigerians don’t know if they have allergies too. There are so many people that fall under these categories of people and extreme caution should be adhered to when deploying the COVID-19 vaccine. This underscores the very need for a clinical trial in a relatively small population in the country,” he said on Village Square Africa on News Central TV.

Nigeria is finalising plans on receiving AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine from the Indian government. Dr Imoesi said even the Indian government is still conducting trials on this vaccine to see the possible reaction of its population to it and to test its efficacy.

He said Nigeria and other African countries need test trials, clinical analysis and research before dabbling into the procurement of vaccines and administering them on their citizens.

Some African countries have already made arrangement for vaccines with Morocco paying for 65million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinopharm. South Africa, Guinea and others have also turned to Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik IV vaccines.

All of these vaccines have their contraindications, according to medical experts and these necessitate the conduct of clinical trials before administering them on locals.

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