One of the leading contributors to Pfizer’s research into a COVID-19 vaccine is a Nigerian-born Onyema Ogbuagu.
Ogbuagu who is an infectious disease expert, works as an associate professor of medicine in the clinician-educator track and director of the HIV clinical trials programme of the Yale AIDS programme at the Yale School of Medicine.
The search for a vaccine for COVID-19 is still continues, however the team Ogbuagu leads at Pfizer announced the first vaccine they developed and they have said it is up to 90% efficacious.
The vaccine so far has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries, and no safety concerns have been raised.
On Monday the US Mission in Nigeria celebrated Ogbuagu in a tweet.
“Nigerians contribute to the world in so many ways. Our hats off to Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu at Yale who helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine!” it tweeted.
Nigerians contribute to the world in so many ways. Our hats off to Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu at Yale who helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine! pic.twitter.com/DYFWHlJSFM
— U.S. Mission Nigeria (@USinNigeria) Novemtber 23, 2020
Speaking about what this would mean for the process moving forward, Ogbuagu, said the feat signals the beginning of the end for COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think you know those of us involved in the trials are really super excited by the results that were really quite unexpected, Ogbuagu told ABC news channel.
“You know we’ve quite expected that the vaccines should at least have more than 50 per cent efficacy… But it’s just so heartwarming that the vaccines have been so effective,” he said.
Ogbuagu is one of the twin sons of Chibuzo Ogbuagu, a former vice-chancellor of Abia State University, and Stella Ogbuagu, a professor of sociology who was best graduating student of the 1974 class at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
His twin brother is an engineer.
He studied medicine and graduated in 2003. After graduation, he interned at the Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, before proceeding to the US.
He is 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.