By Tamba Jean-Matthew III in Dakar
Africa is set to offer the world a pleasant surprise with a COVID-19 vaccine which “wealthy countries are set to pre-order millions of doses,” WHO Africa regional director has said.
South Africa’s Dr Matshidiso Moeti made the revelation this week as representatives from the WHO, University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and the University of Nairobi in Kenya met in a webinar to discuss Africa’s Covid-19 vaccine readiness.
“With three Covid-19 candidates demonstrating high levels of efficacy, many countries are keen and determined to get the vaccine on time, she said.
Dr. Moeti then praised the role African communities have played in helping to stop the pandemic by discovering a vaccine that “will drive in the history of the continent and, indeed, the history of the world”.
And it is in response to her appeal to the African media to promote this landmark development in their publications that The Matters Press is again proud to re-introduce the US-based Nigerian scientist, Dr Onyema Ogbuagu of Yale University for his unimpeachable contribution.
Ogbuagu, an infectious Disease Specialist, with more than 17 years of experience after graduating from University of Calabar Medical School in Nigeria in 2003 is affiliated to medical facilities Midstate Medical Centre and Yale New Haven Hospital.
The United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria on November 23, 2020 commended Ogbuagu for his role in the development of COVID-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 pandemic has unsettled the world, crippling economies and hardship to people and leading to the death of more than 1.3 million people.
In almost one year race to get a vaccine to solve the problem, Pfizer and BioNTech finally announced that the first vaccine they developed against COVID-19 could prevent more than 94.5 percent successful having been tested on 43,500 people in six countries.
Pfizer reports that it would be able to supply 50 million doses by the end of 2020, and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021, a success story in which Ogbuagu, an associate professor of medicine played a key role.
Ogbuagu said the Pfizer vaccine would help people achieve immunity, and that it will be “the beginning of the end of the pandemic”.
But Dr. Moeti warned that an uptick in the rate of Covid-19 infections across the continent should be a cause for concern.
“The curve is once again trending upwards a little bit as we head into the holiday season when people will travel.
“It’s vital, therefore, that we continue practicing the preventive measures and that scaled up, proactive public health capacities are in place to flatten the rise in cases,” Dr. Moeti concluded.