The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced the appointment of renowned Nigerian Professor of Virology, Professor Oyewale Tomori as a member of its Technical Advisory Group on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Prof. Tomori, immediate past president of the Nigeria Academy of Science (NAS) would be returning to WHO were he served as advisor on Polio, helping the global health body to rid Nigeria of the viral disease. This time around he will be serving as a member of its technical advisory group on COVID-19 vaccine composition.

The WHO, in a statement on Wednesday, said 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.

It explained that the group is to make recommendations to WHO on the methods to assess the impact of the variants of concerns on vaccines; 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.

Other members of the Technical Advisory Group are Dr Supamit Chunsuttiwat, as 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; 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 and Dr Ziad Memish, a Senior Infectious Disease Consultant.

Speaking on the new assignment, Prof Tomori told Africasti it is another call to serve which he does not take for granted.

“It is another call to service. I will do all my best to offer the little I have in me, if only that would make a difference,” Tomori told Africasti.


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