Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, has made Nigeria proud with his unique role in the development of the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, as the leading scientist in the trial.
Pfizer Inc had announced the successful completion of the vaccine trial which has shown 95% effectiveness in preventing the dreaded respiratory infectious disease.
Ogbuagu, a Nigerian-born medical doctor leading the Pfizer trial for the Coronavirus vaccine in the United States has been highly commended by other scientists in the country.
Applauding his innovation in discovering an effective vaccine for COVID-19, Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) commended Dr Ogbuagu on his milestone feat.
“We are very proud of the efforts by Dr Ogbuagu and several other Nigerian scientists and health professionals in Nigeria and the diaspora, especially as part of efforts to end the acute phase of this COVID-19 pandemic,” Ihekweazu said.
“Despite the challenges in our country, there are several Nigerians that have been well-trained through our educational system and are in turn, contributing to scientific knowledge and interventions globally.
“At NCDC, we have received strong support from some of these health professionals in the diaspora through groups like Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA), Nigerian Association of Pharmacists & Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas among others” he stated.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also joined in hailing the Nigerian-born researcher, Dr Ogbuagbu, for the achievement.
President, NMA, Prof. Innocent Ujah, says it is an encouragement to invest in the training of more doctors. “It shows they are committed. It shows they are focused. But unfortunately, they are not valued here. This is why many Nigerian doctors are travelling out of the country,” he said.
“The achievement is not just for the NMA but his family, the Federal Government of Nigeria and Africa. The government should recognise that the young man has made the country proud”, he emphasised.
An Associate Professor of Medicine and infectious disease specialist at Yale School of Medicine, Ogbuagu is also director of the HIV Clinical Trials programme of the Yale AIDS Programme, Section of Infectious Diseases of the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, New York City.
He is one of the twin sons of Prof. Chibuzo Ogbuagu (former VC of ABSU and Abia SSG), whose parents had in New Haven CT, when they went for their doctoral programmes at Yale.
He was the Yale principal investigator on multiple investigational therapeutic and preventative clinical trials for COVID-19, including remdesivir (now FDA approved), leronlimab and remdesivir and tocilizumab combination therapy as well as the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine trial.
Ogbuagu’s responsibilities at Yale include educating and training medical students, residents and infectious diseases fellows in various capacities in inpatient and outpatient settings; and through structured course work and other teaching sessions.