By Sola Ogundipe

A TEAM of eminent medical experts in the fields of virology, microbiology, epidemiology and medicine, has been assembled by the Academy of Medicine Specialties to constitute a Rapid Response Initiative Committee to assess and advise the Federal government on issues bordering on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among members of the rapid initiative group are Prof Geoffrey Onyemelukwe, Prof Oyewole Tomori, Prof Vincent Rotimi, Prof Akin Osibogun, Prof Bruce Ovbiagele, Prof Obinna Onwujekwe, Prof Tunde Salako, Prof Sade Ogunsola, Prof Sunday Omilabu, Prof Christian Happi, and Dr. Yahaya Mohammed.

Other experts in the stated fields as well as Fellows of the Academy, with interest in communicable disease, are to be invited to join the group.

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Disclosing this in a statement, the President of the Academy, Prof Oladapo Ashiru, noted that the members of the group would advise the Academy regularly and their recommendations would be published and made available to the federal government and in the Academy’s Newsletter.

“Among their terms of reference include: to explore the current state of the art and provide recommendations to improve the country-wide strategy for preparedness, border control in cases of new Pandemics, regulatory approval, distribution of vaccines, and post-approval surveillance for adverse effects for immunisation.

The members of the group would also assist in clarifying the struggle to vaccinate or not, and if, with mRNA or DNA vaccines and AEFI consequences, to which groups or not to administer vaccination; Use of Ivermectin, steaming, use if vitamins and supplements and other factors.

They are to organise webinar series on COVID-19 on the variants, vaccinations, curbing transmission, and public awareness, and to explore the genomics aspects of COVID-19 in terms of variants.

The group would also make reports of advances and progress in combating the Pandemic to the Academy for onward transmission to the Government and the Public.

They are expected to give immediate advice on the enormous task of facing the SARS-C0v2 multifaceted challenges. They would contribute and make recommendations on the current struggle to vaccinate or not. If, with mRNA or DNA vaccines and AEFI consequences, to which groups or not to administer the vaccine; Use of Ivermectin, steaming, Vitamin supplements and other ramifications.

They would also help in continuous monitoring of global trends in other infections such as Ebola and recommend necessary preventive measures.

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