A team of scientists from several academic institutions in Oyo and Osun states of South-West, Nigeria has announced that they are on the verge of developing two vaccines that can prevent or cure the Coronavirus disease currently rattling the world.
The team led by Kola Oloke, the vice Chancellor, Precious Cornerstone University (PCU), Ibadan, Oyo State, announced their feat a release made public earlier this week.
In the statement jointly signed by all members of the research team and made public on Monday, June 1, Prof. Oloke and his colleagues, Dr Oladipo Kolawole, a Microbiologist, who specialises in Medical Virology (Immunology and Bioinformatics) from Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State and Dr Ajayi Folorunsho, a Medical Physiologist with specialisation in Pathophysiology from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State disclosed the development.
The experts said they were spurred into action by the need to rise to the challenges posed to the world by the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to them, their research for cure for COVID-19 is already in the stage of animal trial experiment which is a leap towards vaccines for the prevention of the dreaded disease.
“We have worked extensively by exploring the SARS-CoV-2 genome from African countries to select the best possible potential vaccine candidates.
“After trying out some selected processes of vaccine development, we have been able to choose the best potential vaccine candidates for the SARS-CoV -2 and they have made the possible latent vaccine constructs,” the researchers disclosed.
The university dons said their research was a collaborative effort by a number of scientists from several institutions and a variety of disciplines.
“It was however carried out at the Genomics Research Hub of Helix Biogen Consult in Ogbomoso and jointly funded by Trinity Immunoefficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult owned by Dr Kolawole Oladipo,” the statement read.
Further, the release urged researchers in Africa to rise up to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and come up with more solutions.
“There is a need for African scientists to wake up and provide more solutions to the pandemic specific for Africans.
“Therefore, this study was initiated to make significant scientific contributions to the development of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines,” the scholars added.
They reasoned that effective medication for the plague would better be achieved through multi-disciplinary studies. In their words: “The findings from this research have shown the importance of multidisciplinary research efforts in healthcare. We are at the verge of something truly transformational in Nigeria and Africa and by extension, the world at large…”
“Therefore, we hereby call for support in various ways from non-governmental and governmental institutions to assist in the next steps of these novel vaccines development.”