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AstraZeneca in frantic move to adapt its Covid vaccine as South Africa suspends rollout

AstraZeneca has moved to adapt its vaccine to the new strain of the coronavirus as South Africa suspends rollout.



AstraZeneca suspends COVID-19 vaccine final stage trial over safety concerns, COVID-19: J&J starts vaccine trials on humans after success on monkeys

There is a strong indication that the drug maker, AstraZeneca, is racing to adapt its Covid-19 vaccine in the face of new variants of the virus as South Africa suspends its formal rollout of the vaccines.

This became necessary as the small-scale study found out that it was less effective at protecting against the more virulent strain discovered in South Africa.

South Africa has recently suspended its rollout plan of the vaccine after it had found that it is less efficient in combatting the new covid variant.

READ: Covid-19: China seizes 3000 fake vaccines, arrests 80

What you should know

It is confirmed that Oxford University has stated that protection against moderate-severe disease, hospitalization or death could not be assessed as the target population were at such low risk

AstraZeneca had commenced a frantic effort at developing second-generation Covid vaccines aimed at targeting new variants of the virus

According to Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology of the University of Oxford which jointly developed the vaccine with AstraZeneca,

  • “Efforts are underway to develop a new generation of vaccines that will allow protection to be redirected to emerging variants as booster jabs, if it turns out that it is necessary to do so.
  • “We are working with AstraZeneca to optimise the pipeline required for a strain change should one become necessary. This is the same issue that is faced by all of the vaccine developers, and we will continue to monitor the emergence of new variants that arise in readiness for a future strain change.”

READ: AstraZeneca set to buy Alexion for $39 billion

The variant is known as the B.1.351 mutation and was first detected in South Africa in October 2020 and has since become dominant in the country.

Several cases have been found elsewhere too, sending health authorities scrambling to stop the spread of the mutation that is proven to be more infectious.

In the alternative, the South African government will offer vaccines produced by Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have both reported early indications that their vaccines offer protection against new known variants of the virus, those found in South Africa and the U.K.

READ: Why Nigeria may not access COVAX Pfizer vaccines in February

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According to Andrew Pollard, professor of pediatric infection and immunity, and chief investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, in respect of the data from the trials of its vaccine in the U.K, data “indicate that the vaccine not only protects against the original pandemic virus, but also protects against the novel variant, B.1.1.7, which caused the surge in disease from the end of 2020 across the UK.”


Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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Update: Health Minister states side effects of COVID-19 vaccines

Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed the side effect of the COVID-19 vaccines.



Nigeria to vaccinate 20 million people against Covid-19. Chinese Engineering firm donates medical supplies to Nigeria

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has stated the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, which he said is mild.

The minister disclosed this during the live broadcast when President Muhammadu Buhari took his vaccine shot on Saturday.

According to the Minister, the reactions are usually mild and only few people had complained of mild pain in the part of the body they got the shot.

READ: COVID-19: Moderna set to launch a new vaccine for virus strain found in South Africa

He said, “It is not everybody that complained of reactions/side effects but few had complained of mild pain at the part of the body they got the shot.

”Usually manufacturing vaccines take not less than 4 years but this only took about 1 year, which is the reason some people are apprehensive about the vaccines. This was manufactured in the United Kingdom and has been certified.”

READ: How to register for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria

Ehanire, explained that the jab is painless as a narrow gauge syringe was used with a small quantity injected in the upper arm.

He added that the after-effects are mild but accompanied by little discomfort in the area that was injected.

Present at the brief ceremony were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and other members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, senior government officials and journalists.

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Update: President Buhari, VP Osinbajo get COVID-19 vaccine shots

President Buhari and VP Osinbajo have been vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday at the State House, Abuja.



President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have been vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday at the State House, Abuja.

President Buhari and VP, who received his COVID-19 vaccine shot on Live TV broadcast, urged Nigerians to emulate him and do the same to curb the pandemic in the most populous black nation.


Both were administered their jabs, on Saturday morning, at the Banquet Hall of the presidential villa, Abuja at a ceremony broadcast live on national television.

Their inoculation followed their e-registration and filling out of their vaccination cards by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib.

Vaccination of Buhari was done by Chief Personal Physician to the President, Dr Suhayb Rafindadi.

Osinbajo was also vaccinated by his personal physician, Dr Nicholas Audifferen.

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