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COVID-19: Russia to roll out mass vaccination against Corovirus in October

The vaccine is being developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

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Covid-19: AstraZeneca vaccine gets huge boost, produces immune response in elderly, Vaccine, COVID-19: Russia to roll out vaccine in September ahead of the West 

Russia’s local news agencies have revealed that the country’s Health Minister, Mikhail Musashko, has concluded plans for a mass vaccination campaign against  Coronavirus starting from October.

Interfax News Agency had quoted Musashko as saying that a state research facility in Moscow, the Gamaleya Institute, had completed clinical trials of the vaccine even as the paperwork for registration are being prepared.

Murashko said that doctors and teachers would be the first to be vaccinated against the virus. According to him,  “We plan wider vaccinations for October.’’

Nairametrics had reported that Russia, which is currently the world’s fourth most COVID-19 infested country, has concluded plans to register a coronavirus vaccine as early as August 10, 2020. This is to make way for what could most likely become the world’s first officially approved vaccine against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, has compared what he described as Russia’s success in developing a vaccine to the successful launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first satellite, by the Soviet Union in 1957.

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Meanwhile, the western media has called to question whether Russia is putting national prestige before science and safety, considering the speed at which it is moving to roll out the vaccine.

While the vaccine has been described by its developers as safe and potentially the first to get to the public, the data has not been published yet and other countries are raising questions over the speed at which Russia is moving.

Russia, which have been badly hit by the pandemic, has a total number of 845,443 reported cases as of Saturday, August 1, 2020, with a total of 14,058 deaths.

The World Health Organization had disclosed that about 150 possible vaccines against the coronavirus disease are currently under development across the globe. The United Health agency said that at least 4 of the vaccines are in final phase 3 human trials.

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These include the 3 developed in China and another one in the UK.

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: Africa records higher death rate than the global rate

Africa’s coronavirus death rate is now higher than the global average according to Africa CDC.

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Covid-19: African Union in talks with China and Russia over vaccine

Africa’s coronavirus death rate has been reported to be higher than the global average as the continent struggle with a shortage of oxygen and other resources during this second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The continent’s fatality rate currently stands at 2.5%, which is higher than the global rate of 2.2%, a departure from earlier in the pandemic, when the death rate in Africa was lower than that at the global level.

READ: African Union secures 270 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from drugmakers

According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong, on Thursday, January 21, 2021, during a press conference.

While describing the trend as alarming experts, the continent’s CDC boss pointed out that earlier in the pandemic, Africa’s death rate had been below the global average.

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READ: FG alerts that Nigerian hospitals are running out of facilities as Covid-19 spreads fast

He said, “The case fatality rate is beginning to be very worrying and concerning for all of us.’’

Nkengasong also said that 21 African countries are now recording Covid-19 death rate of above 3% as the number of countries in the continent with a higher fatality rate than the global average continues to grow.

Some of the countries include Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and a host of others.

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READ: Covid-19: WHO warns the world faces catastrophic moral failure due to vaccine nationalism

What you should know

  • Africa has so far recorded 3.3 million cases of the coronavirus infections with 82,000 fatalities as at Thursday.
  • These figures represent a small fraction of the global total, but cases have been reported to have increased by 14% each week in the last 1 month.
  • According to data from Africa CDC, over the past week, cases decreased by nearly 7% compared to the previous week while deaths increased by 10%.
  • The continent reported 207,000 new cases in the past week, with South Africa alone reporting 100,000 of those new cases.

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Coronavirus

AMSP, AVATT to facilitate COVID-19 vaccines pre-orders for AU member states

The African Union has secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for African union members.

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South Africa High commission in Nigeria shuts its offices, South Africa announces 21-day lockdown following spike in Coronavirus cases

African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) have commenced the COVID-19 vaccines pre-order programme for all African Union Member States.

It would be recalled that the chairperson of the African Union, President Cyril Ramaphosa, had secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for Africa through AVATT, AMSP, on behalf of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

It is expected that Afreximbank will facilitate payments by providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to US$2 billion to the manufacturers on behalf of the member states.

What they are saying

According to African Union Special Envoy, Strive Masiyiwa:

  • “These are historical times. For the first time in history, Africa has secured access to millions of vaccine doses in the middle of a pandemic as most of Western countries.
  • “There is still a huge shortage of vaccine doses and that is why this continental collaboration has designed a fair allocation coupled with timely and equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines across the continent.”

According to Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank):

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  • “Afreximbank is proud to expand its support to African economies in their bid to contain the pandemic.
  • “ Our vaccine financing facility builds on the success of our Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) to open access to COVID 19 vaccines to African states based on a whole-of-Africa approach favoured by the African Union.
  • “By providing advance procurement commitment guarantees of up to US$2 billion to candidate vaccine manufacturers, Afreximbank will ensure that African States are able to rapidly access COVID-19 vaccines, at competitive prices and in a timely manner thereby contributing to saving lives and livelihoods.”

According to Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC):

  • “The biggest challenges to COVID-19 vaccine access in Africa have been financing of the vaccines and the logistics of vaccinating at scale, but we are glad that this gap is being filled by the Afreximbank financing facility.
  • “The critical decision now is how to get started so that once we start there will be no disruptions and this is where AMSP will play a very big role”

According to Fatoumata Bâ, Founder & Executive Chair of Janngo and Managing Partner of Janngo Capital:

  • “From today onwards African Union Member States will be able to start placing online pre-orders for their vaccines allocation through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform.
  • “We are proud to participate in giving direct access to cutting edge COVID-19 vaccines through Africa; This is essential to protect our people and reopen our economies”

What you should know

  • AVATT has secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccines doses from Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca,
  • AMSP – the single-source platform enabling faster, more transparent and cost-effective access to COVID-19 supplies – has opened today pre-orders, offering equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines doses for 55 African Union member states.
  • The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) is supporting the vaccination operations by launching a new category on vaccine accessories that will help the member states to procure products such as ultra-low temperature freezers, personal protection equipment, cotton wool rolls, syringes and needles.
  • The Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) is a non-profit initiative launched by the African Union as an immediate, integrated and practical response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) was established by the African Union chairperson, President Cyril Ramaphosa as a component in support of the Africa Vaccine Strategy and was endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government on 20th of August, 2020.

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Coronavirus

Governor Sanwo-Olu says 24,000 students yet to resume in public schools

24,000 students in public schools are yet to return back after the reopening of schools, according to Governor Sanwo-Olu.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that about 24,000 students in public schools are yet to come back after the reopening of schools following last year’s lockdown necessitated by the first wave of Covid-19 across the country.

This is as the governor said that resumption of school activities Monday, January 20, 2021, was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of Covid-19.

This disclosure was made by the governor while peaking during a press conference on Covid-19 update at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday.

Sanwo-Olu assured that it was the best decision for the children’s safety and long-term development, especially the most vulnerable ones.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu in his statement said, “Last year after the first lockdown and kids have to come back to school, we are still looking for about 24,000 of them that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long and their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of ensuring that they have time to come back for learning even if it is twice or thrice a week.

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“At least they have been registered since the beginning of a session and they can be monitored. If not, they will just be roaming the streets and become endangered. We have seen incidents of child abuse and all unprintable things that are being done to these children. So, we believe to a large extent that schools sometimes happen to be the safe haven for them. We have done the roster in which we ensure they keep social distance and we are monitoring,” he said.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that public and private schools below the tertiary level in Lagos State, On Monday, January 18, 2021, reopened for academic activities despite opposition from some stakeholders due to the second wave of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
  • Following the surge in the number of infections in the state, which is the epicentre of the disease in the country, there were complaints about the state of preparedness of the schools, especially the public ones, in adhering to the strict Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.

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