The Tertiary Institutions and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has said the COVID-19 vaccine project it sponsored would be ready for the first clinical trial in November 2022.
TETfund disclosed that through its intervention, Nigerians had overcome the usual long wait of collecting their COVID-19 sample and result.
Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, said with the intervention of the Fund, Nigerians can get their COVID-19 test and result within seven days.
Speaking while receiving the Senate Committee on tertiary institutions and tertiary education trust fund on Wednesday, Echono said 12 Molecular Labs have been established in all the Geo-Political zones around the country.
The Committee visited TETFund as part of its oversight visit to ascertain the level of the 2021/2022 performance of the budget.
He informed the Committee about the plan of the TETFund to commence constructing zonal offices in the states by next year.
Echono said the TETFund is collaborating with the Mathematical Centre and the three other inter-University Centres in areas like research.
He said: “We are collaborating in other areas like in research; for example, one is leading one of our clusters even in COVID research. They have acquired so much proficiency, experience and expertise in dealing with an animal vaccine, they are part of the team, and through that, we also fund them, improve their laboratories, and buy them equipment.
“We probably work around the letter of the law, but we recognize the role each plays in developing manpower and improving research in our country.
“At the beginning of COVID- 19, you can recall how long it was taking to collect samples, how we waited for seven days before you get the result of the test, but through the TETFund’s intervention, we turned it around. About 12 Molecular Labs were established in all the Geo-Political zones around the country, and with the resultant effects, we were able to overcome the seven days wait because of the intervention.”
Echono disclosed that TETFund is also funding research in lassa fever and communicable diseases.
He added: “We are funding research not only in COVID-19 but in lassa fever. There is ongoing research in lassa fever; we also have some mega research we are doing for communicable diseases, they are ongoing; as we make breakthroughs, I will let you know.”