AstraZeneca Plc has suspended a final-stage trial of one of the leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates, after a suspected serious adverse reaction on one of the participants.
This was disclosed by a health news website, Stat News, on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, while quoting an AstraZeneca spokesperson.
The AstraZeneca official said, “Standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow the review of safety data.”
AstraZeneca, in a statement, said that the trial was put on hold to conduct a standard review of the drugmaker’s vaccine trials after one person developed an unexplained illness. The pharmaceutical company said that this was intended to give researchers time to examine safety data while maintaining the integrity of the trials
This study is testing a Covid-19 vaccine which is being developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with University of Oxford researchers at various sites, including the United Kingdom, where this adverse reaction was reported.
The media report suggests that although the participant is expected to recover, details of the nature of the case and when it happened were not given.
Stat news said that the suspension of the trial has affected other vaccine trials by AstraZeneca as well as clinical trials being conducted by other vaccine makers, who are looking for signs of similar reactions.
The AstraZeneca spokesperson’s statement reads, “In large trials, illnesses will happen by chance but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully.”
Stat News reported that serious adverse reactions from the trials could have various outcomes such as issues that require hospitalization, life-threatening illness and death.
It can be recalled that 9 leading US and European vaccine developers, which include AstraZeneca, Pfizer Inc and GlaxoSmithKline, pledged on Tuesday to ensure scientific safety and efficacy standards for their vaccine candidates despite the alleged political pressure and urgency to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19: AstraZeneca vaccine could be 90% effective against the virus
AstraZeneca has said that its vaccine being developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford could be 90% effective.
British pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, announced that the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing with Oxford University is 90% effective and also prevented 70% of trialists from falling ill.
AstraZeneca joins other major pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer and Moderna in the race to develop a vaccine for the pandemic.
What they are saying
Oxford University said it could be 70.4% effective and tests on two dose regimes show that it could be is 90%.
The company expects to have up to 200 million doses by the end of the year and produce up to 700 million doses by the first quarter of 2021.
The new vaccine also answers issues of vaccine storage and distribution, as it can be kept at basic refrigerator temperature for transport, making it much easier to transport, compared to Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Pfizer Inc disclosed that its experimental vaccine, which is jointly developed with BioNTech was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, based on initial data from a large study, in the ongoing phase 3 trials.
Last week, Pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc, stated its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.
COVID-19: G-20 to extend debt relief to developing nations
The G-20 has endorsed a plan which will enable the freezing of debt obligations to developing nations.
The G-20, in a bid to combat the economic fallouts of the pandemic, has endorsed a plan which will enable the freezing of debt obligations to developing nations till mid-2021.
This was reported by Reuters after the group met over the weekend to discuss vaccine relief and other pressing issues. They also agreed on a common approach to dealing with debt relief.
The G-20 leaders announced in a communique urging private creditors to extend debt relief to nations that are eligible for the initiative.
What they are saying
The Head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, urged that the world still runs the risk of falling into another crisis and called for closer cooperation through faster integration of the G-20 Framework. She added that the G-20’s efforts in combating the pandemic have helped soften the economic fallout caused by covid-19.
“The world is not out of the woods yet in terms of this crisis. Cooperation is going to be even more important going forward,” she said.
“We must also help those countries not covered by the Framework to address debt vulnerabilities, so that their economies can become more resilient,” she added.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported that the G-20 met earlier this weekend and agreed to announce a pledge to pay for vaccine distribution to developing nations that can’t afford it. The leaders also discussed a debt extension programme to developing nations during the weekend’s G-20 summit.
In April 2020, Ministers of Finance from African countries requested debt relief from bilateral, multilateral, and commercial partners to cushion the negative impact of the coronavirus.
Last Month, Nairametrics reported that the total external debt of the least developed countries under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) has increased by 9.55% to $744 billion in 2019. This was disclosed in the World Bank’s International Debt Statistics 2021.
The global Debt Service Suspension Initiative by rich nations made it eligible for 73 countries to have their debt frozen. However, only 46 countries took part in the initiative, freezing up to 5.7 billion in 2020 debt service payments.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 22nd of November 2020, 155 new confirmed cases and 1 death was 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 66,383 confirmed cases.
On the 22nd of November 2020, 155 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 4,083 samples across the country.
To date, 66,383 cases have been confirmed, 62,076 cases have been discharged and 1,167 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 743,298 tests have been carried out as of November 22nd, 2020 compared to 739,215 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 22nd November 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 66,383
- Total Number Discharged – 62,076
- Total Deaths – 1,167
- Total Tests Carried out – 743,298
According to the NCDC, the 155 new cases are reported from 12 states- Lagos (60), Katsina (37), Kaduna (35), FCT (6), Ogun (4), Edo (3), Kwara (3), Rivers(2), Kano (2), Jigawa (1), Oyo (1) and Taraba (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 22,962, followed by Abuja (6,498), Plateau (3,800), Oyo (3,703), Rivers (2,956), Kaduna (2,895), Edo (2,694), Ogun (2,153), Delta (1,823), Kano (1,773), Ondo (1,727), Enugu (1,332), Kwara (1,091), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,007), Osun (945), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (753), and Borno (745).
Imo State has recorded 662 cases, Benue (493), Nasarawa (485), Bayelsa (445), Ekiti (353), Jigawa (328), Akwa Ibom (319), Niger (295), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (156), Kebbi (93), Yobe (92), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), 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.