By Asmau Ahmad
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appointed a professor of virology, Oyewale Tomori, to serve as a member of its Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 vaccine composition.
The WHO announced the appointment of Prof. Tomori, a former vice-chancellor of the Redeemer’s University, Ede, in a statement on Wednesday.
The UN body said that Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 vaccine composition was an independent group of experts that would periodically review the evidence and analyse the implications of emerging variants of concerns on the performance of COVID-19 vaccines.
“During those global consultations, the WHO and partners have 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.
The group will elaborate o decision-making processes, trigger for such decision making, and stakeholder roles and responsibilities.
“Following discussions, the Executive Director of WHO, recognises the need to establish Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition to make recommendations to WHO on the methods to assess the impact of the variants of concerns on vaccines,
”The director also recognises the need to 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,” the statement partly reads.
Health Reporters learnt that some members of the group, are Dr Supamit Chunsuttiwat, who is 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.
Others are a 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 as well as Dr Ziad Memish, a Senior Infectious Disease Consultant.