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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Russia says its Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective

Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, has been declared by its developers to be 92% effective.

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COVID-19 vaccine from Russia

The developer of Russia’s flagship vaccine against Covid-19, Sputnik V, has disclosed that it is 92% effective in protecting people from the virus infections.

As the country pushes for a top slot in the fight against the coronavirus after a rival product by Pfizer Inc. reported a similar breakthrough.

This announcement was made by its developers, Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), through a tweet post on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

The 2 organizations who are backing its development and marketing it globally said the preliminary Phase 3 findings are based on results from 20,000 volunteers who were given the first dose, including more than 16,000 who also received a second injection.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the statement says that the data is based on results 21 days after the initial injection and will be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

The 92% efficacy rate was based on 20 confirmed Covid-19 cases split across vaccinated subjects who got two doses and those who got the placebo.

This is significantly lower than the 94 infections in the trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech. Pfizer said it would continue with its trial until there were 164 Covid-19, in order to confirm its efficacy rate

The developers who revealed that no unexpected adverse events have been reported with monitoring continuing, also said the trial is to include a total of 40,000 subjects although not all have yet been vaccinated.

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The shots have also been given to health workers, teachers and officials outside the trial, with preliminary observations showing effectiveness over 90%, the Health Ministry said hours after Pfizer’s announcement this week.

RDIF said the Russian trial would continue for 6 more months and data from the trials will also be published in a leading international medical journal following a peer review.

This announcement from Russia is coming 2 days after Nairametrics had reported that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is developed in collaboration with BioNTech SE, is at least 90% effective.

According to an interim analysis published this week in what was described as the most encouraging scientific evidence supporting any vaccination to date.

It can be recalled that Russia was the first in the world to register its Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, for public use in August, although the approval came before the start of the large scale trial in September.

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Scientists and pharmaceutical companies have raised serious concerns about the speed at which Russia gave regulatory approval for the drug and launching mass vaccination programme before full trials to test its safety and efficacy had been completed.

With the world’s fifth-largest number of Covid-19 cases, Russia is also hoping to capture a share of the global market for a tool to control the pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people globally

After it was approved for use, Sputnik V has faced challenges ramping up production as other inoculations globally prepare for widespread roll-out.

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.

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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.

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“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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