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Coronavirus

Pfizer, BioNTech say their Covid-19 vaccine is over 90% effective in phase 3 trial

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine has shown incredible results in more than 90% of infections in a study of thousands of volunteers.

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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 

Pfizer Inc had on Monday disclosed that its experimental vaccine which it is jointly developing 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.

This is a major victory in the fight against a pandemic that has killed over 1 million people, negatively impacted on the world’s economy and upended daily life.

READ: Covid-19: AstraZenca drugs aims to be ready for large-scale vaccination this year

This disclosure was made in a statement by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, on Monday, November 9, 2020.

Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE are the first drugmakers to show successful data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The companies said they have so far found no serious safety concerns and expect to seek U.S. emergency use authorization later this month.

If authorized, the number of vaccine doses will initially be limited. Many questions also remain including how long the vaccine will provide protection. However, the news provides hope that other vaccines in development against the novel coronavirus may also prove effective.

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

Albert Bourla, in his statement, said, “Today is a great day for science and humanity. We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen.”

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Sigma Pensions

He said that the first set of results from the Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of their vaccine’s ability to prevent Covid-19

READ: Airsmat berths artificial intelligence platform to improve farm output

Pfizer expects to seek broad U.S. emergency use authorization of the vaccine for people aged 16 to 85. To do so, it will need to have collected two months of safety data on around half of the study’s roughly 44,000 participants, expected in late November.

Bill Gruber, one of Pfizer’s top vaccine scientists, said in an interview, ‘’I’m near ecstatic. This is a great day for public health and for the potential to get us all out of the circumstances we’re now in.

READ: NCC grants national roaming services approval to MTN, 9mobile

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Pfizer said the interim analysis was conducted after 94 participants in the trial developed COVID-19, examining how many of them received the vaccine versus placebo.

Details later…

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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Business

Lagos eases restrictions on social, event centres, sets new occupancy limit

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

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The Lagos state government has further eased restrictions on social and event centres in the state. This follows due consultations and deliberations between the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanow-Olu, and relevant stakeholders and MDAs.

The state government has pegged the occupancy limit for event centres in Lagos to 500 people while social events can now have 200 people at a time.

This disclosure is contained in a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Yusuff, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola, on Friday, April 9, 2021.

The statement noted that safety marshals will be deployed to any social event with over 200 people and event centre exceeding the 500 limits.

READ: Lagos Govt seals Queens Park Event Centre, Oniru for contravening COVID-19 protocol

The statement partly reads, “All event centres must hold a valid license of The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture prior to operating as an event centre in the State.

“All event centres must be duly registered and verified on The Lagos State Safety Commission website www.lasgsafetyreg.com prior to holding any event.

An Event Safety Clearance must be obtained from the Lagos State Safety Commission through the website www.lasgsafetyreg.com for any proposed event or exhibition.

Sigma Pensions

Safety Marshals shall be deployed by an accredited event safety consultant from Lagos State Safety Commission for every social event with attendance exceeding over 200 people.

READ: Lagos state government reacts to reopening of event centers, clarify guidelines

Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 50% of the maximum design capacity of the hall, wherein Occupancy Limit stickers provided by the Lagos State Safety Commission must be boldly posted at the entrance of the event hall.

Maximum allowable capacity for event centres irrespective of the occupancy limit is 500 people. Deep cleaning must be carried out before and after every event. Physical distancing shall be maintained between seated guests and a maximum number of seated guests should be 6 (six) people on a table of 10 persons.

Event duration should not exceed a maximum period of 6-hours. All guests and service providers at the facility must wear a nose mask and make use of hand sanitisers All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or in the alternative use hand sanitisers. Temperature checks must be taken at all entry points into a facility.

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Guests and service providers with temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on the ground. Hand sanitizers must be positioned at the entry points and different spots within the hall.

All event centres must endeavour to display standard COVID-19 safety signs. The signs must be bold and installed at conspicuous locations. Event centre owners/ planners/vendors would be responsible for any breach of protocols by their staff.

In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that in July 2020, the Lagos State Government had issued fresh guidelines on the reopening of event and social centres following their shutdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The state government insisted that the owners of such facilities must register with the government pending further directives.

 

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Business News

Covid-19: FG discloses why it is pausing vaccinations soon in some states

Minister of State for Health has disclosed why the FG may halt the vaccination process once 50% of the country’s proportion has been used up.

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NPHCDA to address infrastructural gaps in COVID-19 vaccine supply, FG to focus on procurement of Covid-19 vaccine in first quarter 2021

The Nigerian Government disclosed that it has ordered some states to pause their covid-19 vaccination drive once they have used up 50% of their proportions as Nigeria is not sure when it would receive the second batch of vaccines.

This was disclosed by Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, at the Presidential Task Force (PTF)  briefing on COVID-19, in Abuja on Tuesday.

What the Minister is saying

“We believe that in a situation where we still cannot specifically determine when the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive, then I think wisdom dictates that it’s better for us to vaccinate people fully.

“And so, we can say that we have a pool of citizens that have been fully vaccinated since this vaccination comes in two doses.

READ: Nigeria, 8 other African countries receive Covid-19 vaccine from MTN

“So that’s what gave rise to that directive, rather than just going ahead with just single dose when the full dose should be two doses of the same.

“So we felt that it was proper for us in the circumstance to ensure that those who have been vaccinated have been fully vaccinated,” he disclosed.

On vaccine side effects so far

The Director-General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed that the FG is monitoring cases of blood clots as reported in Europe, however, he asserted that Nigeria’s vaccination drive has been efficient so far.

Sigma Pensions

“In Nigeria, with every vaccine, we have a parallel system to measure and to monitor any side effects,” he said.

READ: UN says 26 countries in Africa have received 15 million vaccines

“We will continue to monitor patients in Nigeria. You know, every demography is different, the demography in taking vaccines in every country is different, the interaction between different drugs people are taking. So there are many circumstances that need to be fully evaluated, we will look at the data ourselves here in Nigeria and I will take action as needed.

“So I think, for now, we can be sure that we have an effective vaccination programme going on. And we’re very responsive to the concerns of Nigerians, I will respond to them as appropriate,” he added.

What you should know: Nigeria had vaccinated 964,387  people as of Tuesday, 6th of April 2020, using up 48.0% of vaccinations, reported by the NPHCDA.

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