THE NIGERIAN-AMERICAN DOCTOR LEADING PFIZER’S COVID-19 VACCINE SEARCH
Meet Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu: Working on the Frontlines for the Search of The COVID-19 Vaccine-By Drive Africa Writer
Nigerian-American Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu has been on the frontlines of the search for a vaccine for the coronavirus. Dr Ogbuagu is director of the HIV Clinical Trials Program of the Yale AIDS Program at the Infectious Diseases unit at the Yale School of Medicine. He is also an Associate Professor of Medicine and an infectious disease specialist at the school. He is also the Yale principal investigator on clinic trials for COVID 19 which include remdesivir and the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Trial. Dr Ogbuagu is part of a Pfizer research team which recently announced that working with BioNTech, they had developed a COVID 19 vaccine which had a 95% success rate having been tested on over 40,000 people in six countries. The 95% effectiveness rate exceeded what had been widely expected to be a 50% rate. Pfizer is reportedly in the process of commencing pilot delivery programs in the United States. The company is exploring ways to overcome the cold chain issues related to distribution as the vaccine has to be stored at temperatures of about negative 94 degrees. Still, Dr Ogbuagu sees the development of the vaccine as an important milestone in the fight to eradicate the corona virus. He also reckons, however, that the even with the introduction of the vaccine, people will initially be skeptical about adoption of the virus before a widespread adoption of the vaccine begins to take hold.
Dr Ogbuagu was born in the United States while his Nigerian parents were undertaking graduate studies at Yale University. Following his parent’s relocation to Nigeria he studied medicine at the University of Calabar in 2003 followed by an internship at Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital. He then went to the Yale School of Medicine following the completion of his studies in Nigeria. Dr Ogbuagu’s, who has been trained through the Nigerian educational system, has received wide spread support and congratulations by the Nigerian scientific and medical community for his groundbreaking world at some of the world’s elite medical and scientific institutions.