Nigeria comes to the international limelight again, on a positive note, as the World Health Organization (WHO) appoints Professor Oyewale Tomori, a Nigerian professor of virology and former vice-chancellor of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, to serve as a member of the WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 vaccine composition.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the WHO explained the importance of the Technical Advisory Group, stating that it is an independent group of experts who will periodically review the evidence and analyse the implications of emerging variants of concerns on the performance of COVID-19 vaccines.
According to the statement, “During those global consultations, the WHO and partners have noted the urgent needs for shared access to information, coordination, and prioritization, as well as joint action and supported the call for the development of a global risk monitoring and assessment framework that elaborates decision-making processes, triggers for such decision making, and stakeholder roles and responsibilities.”
WHO Appoints Prof. Oyewale Tomori As Technical Advisor On COVID-19
“Following discussions, the Executive Director of WHO, recognises the need to establish Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition to make recommendations to WHO on the methods to assess the impact of the variants of concerns on vaccines,
”The director also recognises the need to provide interpretation of available evidence on the effect of variants of concerns on vaccines, including but not limited to vaccine effectiveness and recommend to WHO,for each COVID-19 vaccine platform, adaptations (if any) needed so that vaccines continue to safely provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against variants of concerns,” the statement partly reads.
Other members of the group are Dr Supamit Chunsuttiwat, who is an advisor, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand; Cheryl Cohen, a professor in epidemiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Others are Professor Thomas Fleming, a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the WHO Solidarity COVID-19 Vaccines Trial; David Goldblatt, a Professor of Vaccinology and Immunology as well as Dr Ziad Memish, a Senior Infectious Disease Consultant.