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Coronavirus

WHO recommends AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for all adults

A WHO panel has endorsed AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for use globally by all adults over 18.

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A World Health Organization (WHO) panel has recommended AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine for use globally by all adults over 18, including the elderly, paving the way to speed up inoculations in developing countries.

In what appears as a boost for the vaccine after a series of setbacks, it could also be used in places such as South Africa where the spread of new variants had raised some concerns over its efficacy.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the Chairman of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, Alejandro Cravioto, said the recommendation might encourage more countries to use the vaccine broadly after some European Union members advised against giving it to the elderly because of insufficient trial data.

READ: Covid-19: Travel agencies recorded 46.9% loss in sales in 2020 – NANTA

He pointed out that the effect of the vaccine on older people was expected to be the same as for younger recipients.

This pronouncement is seen as good news for developing countries, many of which are waiting to administer their first shots as wealthier countries have already inoculated millions of residents.

The WHO also recommended extending the time between the first and second dose to improve efficacy, emphasizing a strategy already being employed in the UK. The panel said that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is more effective when the second dose is administered later and therefore recommended 8 to 12 weeks between the doses.

The U.K. has adopted a similar dosing interval, which is wider than the recommended gap for some other two-shot vaccines.

READ: COVID-19: Africa secures about 300 million vaccine doses

What the Chairman of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization is saying

During his briefing, Cravioto said, “We made the recommendation that even if there is a reduction in the possibility of this vaccine having a full impact in its protection capacity, there’s no reason not to recommend its use, even in countries that have the circulation of variants.”

Some sources familiar with the case said the WHO is likely to follow the recommendation by issuing an emergency use authorization for the vaccine as early as next Monday.

What you should know

  • AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed by AstraZeneca Plc in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has pledged significant supplies to Covax, a facility that aims to distribute vaccines equitably around the world.
  • Covax had said last month that it was on track to deliver at least 2 billion doses, about two-thirds of which will go to lower-income economies and to vaccinate at least a fifth of each participating country’s population by the end of the year.
  • It can be recalled that South Africa, where one of the new variants was first discovered, some days ago suspended a rollout of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, after a trial showed it had limited efficacy against mild infections with the strain.
  • The WHO and UNICEF had said that a total of about 130 countries, representing almost 2.5 billion people, had not yet administered a single dose of any Covid-19 vaccine.

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 Update in Nigeria

On the 25th of February 2021, 634 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths 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 154,476 confirmed cases.

On the 25th of February 2021, 634 new confirmed cases and 6 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 154,476 cases have been confirmed, 131,699 cases have been discharged and 1,891 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.49 million tests have been carried out as of February 25th, 2021 compared to 1.44 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th February 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 154,476
  • Total Number Discharged – 131,722
  • Total Deaths – 1,891
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,489,103

According to the NCDC, the 634 new cases are reported from 22 states- Lagos (259), Osun (45), Edo(38), Ogun (35), FCT (33), Anambra (26), Imo (24), Ondo (24), Akwa Ibom (20), Plateau (20), Abia (19), Kaduna (19), Ebonyi (17), Borno (10), Rivers (10), Kano (9), Delta (8), Kebbi (7), Nasarawa (4) Oyo (3), Enugu (2) and Ekiti (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 55,122, followed by Abuja (19,115), Plateau (8,854), Kaduna (8,422),  Oyo (6,708), Rivers (6,398), Edo (4,491), Ogun (4,277), Kano (3,716), Ondo (2,944), Kwara (2,875), Delta (2,539), Osun (2,326), Nasarawa (2,208), Gombe (2,031), Katsina (2,029), Enugu (1,998), Ebonyi (1,839), Anambra (1,615), and Abia (1,487).

Imo State has recorded 1,440 cases, Akwa Ibom (1,439), Borno (1,247), Bauchi (1,221), Benue (1,188), Niger (912), Ekiti (797), Sokoto (768), Bayelsa (767), Adamawa (762), Taraba (712), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (358), Yobe (268), Cross River (267), Zamfara (219), 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.

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.

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.

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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.

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

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Nigeria’s COVAX supplies on its way soon – Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has stated that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies are on the way.

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The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and former Nigerian Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has revealed that Nigeria’s COVAX vaccine supplies will soon be on the way while stating that the WTO must be part of the process for transparent vaccines delivery.

The WTO boss disclosed this in a social media statement on Wednesday evening, where she expressed joy that Ghana had received 600,000 COVAX vaccines.

She said, “Very happy to see first delivery of #COVAX supported vaccines to Ghana… Excited to see more countries following. Nigeria’s supplies should be on its way soon.

“No trade restrictions or bureaucracy should get in the way. The WTO must be part of the solution.”

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that Ghana had received the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from COVAX, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free, as the world races to contain the pandemic.
  • “The 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine licensed by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India, are part of an initial tranche of deliveries headed to several low and middle-income countries,” the WHO said.

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