World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed a Nigerian professor of virology and former vice-chancellor of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, Professor Oyewale Tomori to serve as a member of the World Health Organisation’s Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 vaccine composition.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the WHO explained that the Technical Advisory Group 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 global consultations, the WHO and partners noted the urgent needs for shared access to information, coordination, and prioritisation, 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.”
Following the mutations that produced different strains and variants of the coronavirus, it became a priority for there to exist a body of individuals who are virologists and who can better understand or decipher to an extent, the source of different strains, their mutations and what their short to long term effect on the country or the global economy could be.
One of the objectives of the group is also to make recommendations to WHO based on methods to assess the impact of each of the 4 variants or emerging variants of concern on vaccines.
The World Health Organisation also stated that the group will make recommendations on the methods of assessing the impact of the variants of concerns on vaccines and provide an interpretation of available evidence on the effect of variants of concerns on vaccines so that vaccines continue to safely provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against variants of concerns.”
Other members of the Technical Advisory Group are An advisor with the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health Thailand, Supamit Chunsuttiwat; A professor of epidemiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Cheryl Cohen; A member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the WHO Solidarity COVID-19 Vaccines Trial, David Goldblatt’; A Professor of Vaccinology and Immunology, Thomas Fleming and a Senior Infectious Disease Consultant, Ziad Memish