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Coronavirus

Covid-19: AstraZeneca vaccine gets huge boost, produces immune response in elderly

The experimental vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca Plc produced a robust immune response in older adults and the elderly.

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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 

One of the world’s leading Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is being developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca, has produced a similar immune response in both older and younger adults with adverse responses being lower among the elderly.

While making the disclosure on Monday, the British drugmaker, AstraZeneca Plc, said the experimental vaccine produced a robust immune response in older adults and the elderly.

READ: COVID-19 vaccine likely to be ready by December – WHO

This raises hope of the early development of a vaccine for the corona virus that has killed over a million people across the world with a devastating impact on the global economy.

AstraZeneca, described as encouraging, the results and findings on immunogenicity blood tests carried out on a subset of older participants, which echo data released in July that showed the vaccine generated robust immune responses in healthy adults aged 18 to 55

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An AstraZeneca spokesman told Reuters, “It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher.’’

READ: AstraZeneca suspends COVID-19 vaccine final stage trial over safety concerns

“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222,” the spokesman said, referring to the technical name of the vaccine.

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The news that older people got an immune response from the vaccine is positive because the immune system weakens with age and older people are those most at risk of dying from the virus.

It was earlier reported by Financial Times that the vaccine, being developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca, triggers protective antibodies and T-cells in older age groups – among those most at risk from the virus.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharmacies to secure regulatory approval, along with Pfizer PFE.N and BioNTech’s 22UAy.F candidate.

READ: Pfizer targets use of its Covid-19 vaccine by late November this year

If it works, a vaccine would allow the world to return to some measure of normality after the tumult of the pandemic.

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British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said a vaccine was not yet ready though he was preparing logistics for a possible rollout.

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Hancock in a chat with BBC, said, “I would expect the bulk of the rollout to be in the first half of next year.’’

READ: COVID-19: US to have enough vaccines for vulnerable Americans by end of 2020

He said that is not his central expectation, he does not rule out the possibility of some people having access to the vaccine this year.

Hancock also said, “We want to be ready in case everything goes perfectly but it’s not my central expectation that we’ll be doing that this year, but the programme is progressing well, we’re not there yet.’’

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It can be recalled that one of the frontline vaccine candidates being developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc, after regulatory approval, resumed its trial in the US after it was initially halted due to some safety concerns

The British drugmaker has signed several supplies and manufacturing deals with companies and governments around the world as it gets closer to reporting early results of a late-stage clinical trial.

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: Victims Support Fund launches N3.3 billion intervention fund

The VSF has launched a N3.3 billion intervention fund, targeting one million households most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

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Covid-19: Victims Support Fund

The Victims Support Fund (VSF), a foundation for supporting victims of terrorism has announced that the launch of a N3.3 billion COVID-19 intervention fund, targeting one million households most affected by the pandemic in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsuji, Chairperson, VSF Task Force on COVID-19, on Saturday in Kano.

Mrs. Akerele-Ogunsuji disclosed on Saturday that VSF has already spent N1.8 billion in the first phase of its COVID-19 intervention through the provision of food and other relief materials, adding that N832 million was spent under the second phase of the programme.

READ: Agriculture: AfDB to invest $25 billion in Nigeria, Senegal, 3 others

She added that for the 3rd phase of the scheme, N1.3 billion will be spent until the end of the year.

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“The total amount will be around N3.3 billion. It includes the money spent on the provision of 54 solar powered boreholes installed in schools across 18 states in the six geo-political zones of the county.

“The VSF is also donating 60, 000 pieces of COVID-19 rapid test kits to support opening of the orientation camps of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the coming weeks.

READ: Nigeria spends N8 billion annually to import vaccines 

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“We are targeting indigent and vulnerables households in the country, that is very important to us, and by the time we have done this intervention we will have over one million individuals who have been touched by the VSF interventions,” she said.

She also revealed that the fund has also provided medical items and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers, in 16 of the 30 states in the six geo-political zones of the country.

READ: $66.5 billion worth of Bitcoin lost forever

What you should know 

Victims Support Fund, joins other private and public sector initiatives including the  Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 CACOVID which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed has so far incurred an expenditure of N43.27billion on the acquisition of, not only medical equipment and supplies but also food palliatives for vulnerable Nigerians.

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READ: Terrorism: Nigeria records 39.1% reduction in deaths – GTI Report

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Nairametrics reported that CACOVID  announced plans to deploy over N150 billion towards the setting up and implementation of a youth development programme. It also announced they have budgeted nothing less than N250 billion to rehabilitate damaged police stations across the country and solve the issue of unemployment.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 29th of November 2020, 82 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria

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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 67,412 confirmed cases.

On the 29th of November 2020, 82 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 7,101 samples across the country.

To date, 67,412 cases have been confirmed, 63,055 cases have been discharged and 1,173 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 756,237 tests have been carried out as of November 29th, 2020 compared to 749,136 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 29th November 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 67,412
  • Total Number Discharged – 63,055
  • Total Deaths – 1,173
  • Total Tests Carried out – 756,237

According to the NCDC, the 82 new cases were reported from 11 states- Lagos (48), Rivers (8), Kwara (6), Yobe(6), Katsina (5), FCT(3), Nasarawa(2), Plateau (1), Ogun (1), Kano (1) and Osun(1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 23,238, followed by Abuja (6,770), Plateau (3,858), Oyo (3,721), Kaduna (3,064), Rivers (2,985), Edo (2,696), Ogun (2,223), Delta (1,824), Kano (1,795), Ondo (1,728), Enugu (1,332),  Kwara (1,102), Ebonyi (1,055), Katsina (1,030), Osun (946), Gombe (938). Abia (926), Bauchi (770), and Borno (745).

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Imo State has recorded 662 cases, Benue (496), Nasarawa (493), Bayelsa (445),  Ekiti (365), Akwa Ibom (339), Jigawa (331), Niger (298), Anambra (285), Adamawa (261), Sokoto (165), Taraba (159), Yobe (100), Kebbi (93), Cross River (90), Zamfara (79), 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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Covid-19: UK to approve Pfizer, BioTNech vaccine, to start immunization December 7

The UK government is set to approve the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc next week.

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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 

The global reception of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc in collaboration with BioNTech following the positive outcome of its phase 3 trial, seems to have intensified as it is set for approval by the UK medical regulator.

According to Reuters, a report from Financial Times on Saturday suggests that deliveries would commence within hours of the authorization with the first immunizations using the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine possibly taking place from December 7.

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, had earlier in the day, named Nadhim Zahawi, who is the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.

The UK government has placed an order for 40 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, which has been found to be 95% effective in the final analysis of the phase 3 trials in preventing the spread of a virus that has killed over 1.4 million people across the world with its devastating impact on the global economy.

The UK government had on November 20, formally asked its medical regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to conduct a study of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine with a view to determining its suitability, the first step in making it available outside the United State

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The government which had secured 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and University of Oxford had also asked the regulator on Friday to assess the vaccine for a possible rollout before Christmas.

What you should know: The US drugmaker, Pfizer Inc, on November 18, 2020, announced that a final analysis of clinical-trial data of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine, which it is developing in collaboration with BioTNech, showed it was 95% effective, thereby paving the way for the company to apply for the first U.S. regulatory authorization for a coronavirus shot.

Pfizer said they had no serious safety concerns in a trial that involves almost 44,000 participants as their vaccine protected people of all ages and ethnicities.

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