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Coronavirus

China joins WHO vaccine programme as it fills huge gap left by United States

China has announced that it will partake in a WHO-led Covax initiative to provide a coronavirus vaccine.

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China joins WHO vaccine programme as it fills huge gap left by United States

China has announced that it will take part in a World Health Organization (WHO) led Covax initiative to provide a coronavirus vaccine to developing nations, filling a void in global health leadership after the United States President, Donald Trump spurned the program and withdrew his country’s participation from the organization.

This disclosure was made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, in a statement on Friday, October 9, 2020.

READ: WHO to secure initial COVID-19 vaccine for 20% of Africans

Hua Chunying in the statement said, “Beijing on Thursday joined the $18 billion Covax initiative that aspires to give lower-income countries the same access to vaccines as wealthier nations. The move came despite China leading the world with several vaccines in advanced stages of R&D and with ample production capacity. We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support Covax.”

She disclosed that China will be purchasing COVID-19 vaccines for 1% of its population, or 15 million people, through this WHO backed initiative so as not to reduce the vaccine available to other countries.

READ: China’s Covid-19 vaccine may be ready for general public in November 2020

The move, which comes barely 3 weeks after a deadline set by the initiative, allows China to positively contrast itself with the U.S. as tensions between the world’s two biggest economies spiral on different fronts, ranging from trade to technology and human rights.

It can be recalled that the Trump administration suspended its participation from the WHO activities, which includes financial commitment, and refused to join the Covax initiative, with a White House spokesman saying the U.S. wouldn’t be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China.

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READ: Soybean Futures reach 2-year high, following U.S sales to China 

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, had in May, promised that vaccines developed by China would be made a global public good to be shared by all. The decision could also help the country’s image following widespread criticism from abroad over how it handled the initial outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, where Covid-19 first emerged last year.

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An Associate Professor in health security at the City University of Hong Kong, Nicholas Thomas said, “In many ways this is a soft power win for China, coming amidst a slew of negative reports in other fields in recent weeks. It is a win made all the easier by President Trump’s impetuous decision to withdraw from the WHO and his short-sighted refusal to commit the U.S. to Covax. Now anything America does in this area will be seen as catching up with China when the U.S. was expected to lead.”

READ: Smartphone to be used for daily tracking of first set to receive COVID-19 vaccine

China has at least four experimental vaccines in the final stages of clinical trials, and is also in talks with the WHO to have its domestically made vaccines assessed for international use.

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Gavi on its website revealed that self-financing countries in COVAX scheme can request vaccine doses sufficient for 10-50% of their populations. It also said that funded countries will receive enough doses to vaccinate up to 20% of their population in the longer term.

The COVAX initiative is led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the vaccine alliance Gavi. It currently has nine vaccines in development and nine under evaluation in its portfolio, with a goal to secure 2 billion doses by 2021.

Seth Berkley, chief executive officer of Gavi, in an emailed stated that over 170 countries are now involved with Covax, vaccine deals are underway and the program is approaching its initial fundraising target to support lower-income countries.

He said, “China’s decision gives even more momentum to our efforts to ensure global, equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.”

Nairametrics had reported that China has been quite aggressive in the development of vaccines against the coronavirus disease. Nine of its vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials, and four of them got approval for final-stage Phase III clinical trials in foreign countries. Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Morocco and Egypt have formal agreements with China’s major vaccine manufacturers.

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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

FG explains how the Covid-19 vaccines work and their composition

The NPHCDA Director said that Covid-19 vaccine candidates are of various categories based on their mechanism of action.

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The Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has explained the composition of the Covid-19 vaccines and how they work.

This is as some of them have been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) and some countries, while others are still at different phases of clinical trials for possible approval.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this insight was given by the Executive Director/Chief Executive of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who said there were several COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

READ: African Union signs deal for 400 million Johnson and Johnson single shot vaccine

He said that Covid-19 vaccine candidates are of various categories based on their mechanism of action such as the inactivated or weakened virus vaccines.

He explained that the idea behind the formulation of an inactivated or weakened virus vaccine is to elicit an immune response without causing the disease itself. Shuaib also said there were protein-based vaccines, which used harmless fragments of proteins or protein shells that mimic the Covid-19 virus to safely generate an immune response.

He added that the viral vector vaccines used a virus that had been genetically engineered to produce coronavirus proteins to safely generate an immune response and not give rise to the disease.

Going further, Shuaib pointed out that the Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) and Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) vaccines employed a cutting-edge approach that used genetically engineered RNA or DNA to generate a protein that safely prompted an immune response.

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READ: China publicly presents its COVID-19 vaccines, 2 doses to cost below $146

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that on March 2, 2021, Nigeria received the first set of about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute in India and shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.
  • A few days ago, the Executive Director of NPHCDA disclosed that a total of 8,491 Nigerians have reacted adversely to the AstraZeneca inoculation since the exercise began on March 15.
  • He said that Nigeria recorded 52 cases of moderate to severe incidents of Adverse Effects Following Immunisation (AEFI), presented as fever, vomiting, diarrhoea headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.
  • About 1.09 million Nigerians have so far been administered the first dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

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COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 19th of April 2021, 70 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

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Covid 19 update symptops

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 164,303 confirmed cases.

On the 19th of April 2021, 70 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 164,303 cases have been confirmed, 154,384 cases have been discharged and 2,061 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.84 million tests have been carried out as of April 17th, 2021 compared to 1.81 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 19th April 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 164,303
  • Total Number Discharged – 154,384
  • Total Deaths – 2,061
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,838,174

According to the NCDC, the 70 new cases were reported from 5 states- Lagos (27), Kaduna (16), Ondo (16), Yobe (6), and Bauchi (5).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 58,119, followed by Abuja (19,756), Plateau (9,035), Kaduna (9,014), Rivers (7,060), Oyo (6,839), Edo (4,897), Ogun (4,639), Kano (3,942), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,617), Osun (2,572), Nasarawa (2,380), Enugu (2,281), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,020), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,843), and Abia (1,683).

Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,540), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,063), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (885), Ekiti (869), Sokoto (775), Jigawa (527), Kebbi (450), Cross River (394), Yobe (365), Zamfara (240), 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.

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.

British airways

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.

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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.

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

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