An American Vaccine Development Firm, Novavax Inc, one of the front runners in the race to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 treatment, will receive $1.6 billion funding from the United State government to support large scale manufacturing of coronavirus vaccine.
This represents the biggest contribution to the ‘Operations Warp Speed Program’, a public-private partnership initiative by the US government, to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
Novavax in a statement said that the funds will allow the biotech firm to conduct advanced human studies and engage in manufacturing to deliver 100 million doses as soon as late 2020.
Novavax is among the companies trying to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus that has developed into a pandemic and spreading rapidly in countries like US, India and Mexico. The Operation Warp Speed Program has supported efforts of firms like Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and Merck & Co, to get doses of the vaccine as early as possible.
READ MORE: New Covid-19 Cases reach all-time high – WHO
The fund is expected to help Novavax start a final-stage study of its vaccine candidate before the winter period, with as many as 30,000 people.
Novavax, had earlier secured as much as $388 million in May from the coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the single largest contributions from the organization at that time. The biotech company’s vaccine candidate is to provoke the production of antibodies that prevent the spike protein which the coronavirus uses to infect host cells.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drug manufacturing firms and university researchers are investigating more than 140 experimental vaccines. Moderna, Pfizer and the University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, are among the companies and institutions that have started studies of their vaccines in healthy patients.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 7th of May 2021, 39 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 165,340 confirmed cases.
On the 7th of May 2021, 39 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 165,340, cases have been confirmed, 155,454 cases have been discharged and 2,065 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory
A total of 1.94 million tests have been carried out as of 7th May 2021 compared to 1.91 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 7th May 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 165,340
- Total Number Discharged – 155,454
- Total Deaths – 2,065
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,939,165
According to the NCDC, the 39 new cases are reported from 8 states- Lagos (23), Abuja (4), Kano (4), Zamfara (4), Akwa Ibom (1), Gombe (1), Nasarawa (1), and Plateau(1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,547, followed by Abuja (19,806), Kaduna (9,064), Plateau (9,060),Rivers (7,130), Oyo (6,852), Edo (4,902), Ogun (4,678), Kano (3,961), Ondo (3,248), Kwara (3,122), Delta (2,623), Osun (2,575), Nasarawa (2,382), Enugu (2,401), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,030), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,859), and Abia (1,689).
Imo State has recorded 1,657 cases, Bauchi (1,548), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,103), Taraba (974), Niger (930), Bayelsa (886), Ekiti (870), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (528), Kebbi (450), Cross River (394), Yobe (390), Zamfara (240), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.
On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.
On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.
Covid-19: WHO approves China’s Sinopharm vaccine
WHO has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination. The vaccine is reported to have 79% efficacy against covid.
This was disclosed today in a report by Reuters. The vaccine would also be the second Chinese-made vaccine after Sinovac vaccine and would be the first developed outside Europe and North America to receive WHO accreditation.
“This expands the list of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The WHO added that the easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings.
“Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings,” a WHO statement said while also disclosing that the vaccine has been approved for people above the age of 18 to receive two shots.
“On the basis of all available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of three to four weeks,” the statement added.
The vaccine was created by Beijing Biological Products Institute, a subsidiary of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group, with an efficacy of 79% for all age groups.
The WHO however, admitted that few older adults (over 60 years) were enrolled in clinical trials, so efficacy could not be estimated in this age group.
In case you missed it
The quest for vaccine efficiency got a major boost earlier this week as Nairametrics reported that the United States government announced that it supports the waiver of Intellectual Property Protections on Covid-19 vaccine development, in a bid to boost the fight against the pandemic, and says it will participate in the Okonjo-Iweala-led WTO negotiation to make it happen.
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