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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Vaccine Alliance says vaccine might cost a maximum of $40 per dose

Seth Berkley stressed that the facility has yet to reach a specific target price.

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COVID-19: Vaccine Alliance says vaccine might cost a maximum of $40 per dose

The coordinators of a global COVID-19 vaccine funding scheme are considering wide-ranging pricing options for the COVAX shots. Nairametrics understands that a reported $40 per dose price tag is currently the highest number in that range, according to disclosures by Seth Berkley, one of the co-leads of the project.

Berkley, who is the CEO of the GAVI Vaccine Alliance — the public-private global health partnership that is co-leading the COVAX facility designed to ensure fair global access to the vaccine, stressed that the facility has yet to reach a specific target price. He did, however, note that they would seek to negotiate tiered-pricing for richer and poorer countries.

GAVI Vaccine Alliance’s CEO also rejected earlier comments by some EU sources last week suggesting that the COVAX facility was actually targeting a $40 price tag for wealthy nations. The EU sources had stated that the regional body would be seeking to secure cheaper deals outside of the COVAX scheme.

Speaking to Reuters during an exclusive interview, Berkley said that “there was a large range of numbers, and they (the EU sources) put the highest number out. He said that in a presentation to EU officials, COVAX officials had given a range of different prices. And that ($40) was the maximum price in the range for high-income countries, rather than a set price.”

(READ MORE: COVID-19: WHO reports highest global daily cases)

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What you should know: COVAX is co-led by GAVI, the World Health Organization, and the CEPI Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. The main aim of the alliance is to guarantee fast and equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines once they are developed.

The alliance will secure supplies and distribution of about 2 billion doses of the vaccine across countries and who sign up by the end of next year. GAVI said that more than 75 countries have already signed up.

In the meantime, most vaccines are in the early testing process, according to Berkley. As such, it is too soon to know what the final price would be.

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“The truth is nobody has an idea what the price is going to be, because we have no idea which (potential COVID) vaccine is going to work,” he said.

READ MORE: Covid-19: WHO to start widespread vaccination mid next year

According to him, COVAX started putting together estimates based on what is known, but there are no firm prices. In his words, “the challenge is trying to come up with a cost. Anybody who tells you they know isn’t being honest.”

He also explained that drugmakers frequently use a tiered pricing approach, in which poorer countries pay the lowest price, middle-income countries a higher price, and rich countries pay the highest price. He is not sure, for now, what manufacturers of potential COVID-19 vaccines will propose. However, they are trying to put forward cost estimates based on what they know so far.

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“You’re going to have a range of different prices, depending upon which ones (vaccine candidates) are going to succeed.”

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Back story: Recall that some vaccine candidates from drugmakers like Moderna and AstraZeneca have all recorded positive outcomes in their early trial stage. As Nairametrics reported, there have been concerted efforts to develop vaccines for the coronavirus diseased.

The WHO has revealed that about 150 vaccines for COVID-19 are currently under development globally.

 

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 28th of September 2020, 136 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,460 confirmed cases.

On the 28th of September 2020, 136 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,450 samples across the country.

To date, 58,460 cases have been confirmed, 49,895 cases have been discharged and 1,111 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 507,006  tests have been carried out as of September 28th, 2020 compared to 505,556 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 28th September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 58,460
  • Total Number Discharged – 49,895
  • Total Deaths – 1,111
  • Total Tests Carried out – 507,006

According to the NCDC, the 136 new cases were reported from 13 states- Lagos (71), Rivers (23), Plateau (12), Adamawa (6), Oyo (6), Kaduna (5), Abia (3), FCT (3), Katsina (2), Kwara (2), Bauchi (1), Borno (1), Edo (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,310, followed by Abuja (5,677), Plateau (3,400), Oyo (3,260), Edo (2,625), Kaduna (2,402), Rivers (2,370), Ogun (1,836), Delta (1,802), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,631), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,040), Kwara (1,034), Abia (894), Gombe (864). Katsina (859), Osun (827),  Borno (742), and Bauchi (699).

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Imo State has recorded 568 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (398),  Jigawa (325), Ekiti (321), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (240), Anambra (237), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (76), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Coronavirus

Lagos launches N5 billion support fund for 2,000 low-cost private schools

The Governor said the facility will benefit low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.

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Lagos State government has launched a N5billion support fund to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on low-cost private schools in the state.

This was disclosed by the Governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu via his Twitter handle on Friday.

READ: N4.16 billion unpaid lottery revenue recovered by EFCC

According to him, the educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March.

He said, “With access to funding for privately owned schools and vocational training centres in the state, we are confident that this programme, under the partnership between First Bank Nigeria and Lagos State Education Trust Fund (LSETF) will help accelerate a sustainable return to learning and skills acquisition.”

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READ: FG releases new details on MSMEs support scheme, budgets N200 billion for loans

He explained that the facility will benefit 2,000 low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.

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Explore the Nairametrics Research Website for Economic and Financial Data

“As a responsible Government, we are obligated to provide interventions that would enable learners in schools study in line with the new normal,” the Governor Sanwo-Olu added.

The Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Nigeria, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said “With this partnership, we are sure that registered educational institutions in Lagos State will have access to funds at subsidised interest rates to meet their needs as they reopen at this auspicious time.”

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Coronavirus

WHO endorses emergency use of China’s COVID-19 vaccine

China says WHO has approved the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine.

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WHO endorses emergency use of China’s Covid-19 vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the plans by China to start administering experimental coronavirus vaccines to people while clinical trials are still underway.

This disclosure was made by a Chinese Health Commission official, Zheng Zhongwei, during a news conference on Friday, September 25, 2020.

Zheng recalled that China launched its emergency programme in July, having communicated with the WHO in late June. Hundreds of thousands essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection have been given the vaccine, even though its efficacy and safety had not been fully established as Phase 3 clinical trials have not yet been completed.

Zheng at the news conference said, “At End-June, China’s State Council approved a plan of COVID-19 vaccine emergency use program. After the approval, on June 29, we made a communication with the relevant representatives of the WHO Office in China, and obtained support and understanding from WHO.’’

Nairametrics had reported that Chinese Pharmaceutical firms have been quite aggressive about the development of a Covid-19 vaccine with the likes of Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm publicly displaying their vaccine candidate for the first time at a trade fair in Beijing earlier this month.

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(READ MORE: COVID-19: European regulator ready to approve first successful vaccine this year)

It was pointed out that China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the US-listed Sinovac Biotech SVA.O, are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program just as a fourth COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by CanSino Biologics 6185 HK, was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.

The WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, while describing it as a temporary solution, said earlier this month in Geneva that national regulatory authorities could approve use of medical products within their own jurisdictions in the current emergency situation.

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He emphasized that the long-term solution in the successful development of a Covid-19 vaccine, lay in completion of Phase 3 trials, this is as China has not publicly released full details of its emergency use programme.

Zheng disclosed that China’s annual production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to reach 610 million doses by end-2020 and 1 billion doses by 2021. He said that the price of the vaccine will be affordable for the general public.

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