A Nigerian professor of virology, Sunday Omilabu, has advised the Nigerian government that only citizens with a low-level of immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, be administered a Covid vaccine.
Professor Omilabu, the Director, Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) told ARISE News on Wednesday that if this is not done, the vaccine will jeopardize the natural immunity that majority of Nigerians are enjoying already, which is restricting the virus from having an adverse effect on the citizenry.
The professor said that the frequent circulation of coronaviruses in the Nigerian space has already built in citizens, an innate immune response.
“Many of us have already had a series of common colds in the past, and these common colds are simply caused by the coronaviruses that are related to the SARS Cov2, and those coronaviruses are not as deadly as the SARS Cov2 that we are talking about,”
“So we know we have innate immunity, and if you now introduce a vaccine, the vaccine will only jeopardize the innate immunity in most of the people that are having the innate immunity and will now leave them exposed to natural virus infection as they are having in Europe and America.
“They really need the emergency vaccine in their own case because their level of exposure to coronaviruses is very low but in our own environment here, we have lots of coronaviruses and this has already built in us innate immune response.
“We need to actually establish the level of the immune response through seroprevalence study, and know the level of seroprevalence in the community so that we don’t waste our vaccines. The vaccines are very expensive and they are not even enough to go round.
“So if we must use the vaccines, we need to know that we only give to those that are really in need.”
By Abel Ejikeme