Friday, February 26News That Matters

Covid-19 Update

Pfizer To Test Third Version Vaccine On South African Strain

Pfizer To Test Third Version Vaccine On South African Strain

Covid-19 Update
Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday they are studying adding a third dose to their vaccine regime and testing a new version targeting the South African variant of the coronavirus. As countries around the world rush to vaccinate people, concerns have risen that more transmissible variants such as the one first detected in South Africa or another in Britain are more resistant to existing vaccines. In one study, the US and German pharmaceutical firms said they would look at what happens when people are given a third dose of their two-shot vaccine, six to 12 months after the booster. They said in a statement they are also talking to regulators about testing a modified version of their original vaccine to address the South African variant known as B.1.351. “We are taking multiple...
COVID-19: Nigeria Records Less Than 700 Cases For Four Consecutive Days

COVID-19: Nigeria Records Less Than 700 Cases For Four Consecutive Days

Covid-19 Update
Nnenna Odoh Nigeria on Tuesday confirmed 571 new COVID-19 cases, continuing its low-daily infections for the disease. This is the fourth consecutive day that the West African nation is recording less than 700 cases of the virus. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the new cases in a tweet on its official handle on Tuesday night in which the agency said Lagos – the epicentre of the virus in the country -had the highest number of cases for the day with 170 infections.  571 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria; Lagos-170Ogun-65FCT-45Kwara-34Abia-32Enugu-32Kano-25Oyo-22Ondo-21Rivers-19Kaduna-19Benue-18Bayelsa-12Kebbi-12Nasarawa-11Akwa Ibom-9Delta-8Ekiti-6Niger-5Bauchi-3Imo-3 153,187 confirmed129,943 discharged1,874 deaths pic.twitter.com/9Rfi3fdT2s ...
COVID-19: Nigeria Might Soon Exit Second Wave – Minister

COVID-19: Nigeria Might Soon Exit Second Wave – Minister

Covid-19 Update
Nnenna Odoh The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has hinted that Nigeria might soon exit the second wave of the coronavirus disease. Speaking during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday, the Minister said the country has been recording a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases. He also observed decreased positivity rate from sustained testing in states, which according to him is synonymous with global trends. “This trend in reduction compares with global observations of seeming decline in COVID-19 cases, signifying that the second wave may be receding,” he said. “On 21st of February 2021, 521 new infections and 8 deaths occurred in 20 states. The sustained testing in states has decreased positively rate. “We are, however, not drawing ...
COVID-19: Nigeria To Receive Four Million Doses Of AstraZeneca Vaccine Very Soon – FG

COVID-19: Nigeria To Receive Four Million Doses Of AstraZeneca Vaccine Very Soon – FG

Covid-19 Update
Nnenna Odoh The Federal Government has said that Nigeria would receive four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine very soon. The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha disclosed this on Monday during a press briefing in Abuja. He said the “PTF has been assured that Nigeria shall receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon and Nigerians will be adequately informed on developments.” According to him, “multi-sectoral machinery will be deployed to enhance the logistics to the “last-mile administration” processes that have been put in place.” Mustapha also called for the cooperation and support of all Nigerians, noting that “this will involve community mobilizati...
Hamas Launches COVID-19 Vaccinations In Gaza

Hamas Launches COVID-19 Vaccinations In Gaza

Covid-19 Update
A coronavirus vaccination campaign was launched in Gaza Monday using doses provided by the Palestinian Authority and the United Arab Emirates, with health workers set to be inoculated first. The first jab in the Israeli-blockaded territory controlled by Hamas Islamists since 2007 was symbolically given to former Palestinian health minister Riyad Zaanoun at a clinic in Gaza City. “Priority is being given to medical staff working on the front line in the pandemic, then to sick elderly people,” Medhat Muheisen, a Hamas health ministry official, told reporters. On Sunday, around 20,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, meaning they did not pass through Israel. That delivery was organised by Mohammed Dahlan, a former seni...
BioNTech/Pfizer Say Vaccine Can Stand Warmer Temperatures

BioNTech/Pfizer Say Vaccine Can Stand Warmer Temperatures

Covid-19 Update
Medical syringe is seen with Pfizer company logo displayed on a screen in the background in this illustration photo taken in Poland on November 16, 2020. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Germany’s BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer on Friday said tests have shown that their coronavirus vaccine can stand warmer temperatures than initially thought, potentially simplifying the jab’s complex cold-chain logistics. The companies said they have asked the US Food and Drug Administration to allow for the vaccine to be stored for up to two weeks at minus 25 to minus 15 degrees Celsius (minus 13 to five degrees Fahrenheit), temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators. Under the existing guidelines, the BioNTech/Pfizer jab needs to be stored at...
COVID-19: Africa’s Death Toll Surpasses 100,000

COVID-19: Africa’s Death Toll Surpasses 100,000

Covid-19 Update
Nnenna Odoh Africa on Thursday recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, a grim milestone likely to understate the real toll, as the continent of 1.2 billion people battles a second wave of infections. The 54 countries in the region have a death toll of 100,000 from 3,793,660 reported cases, according to an AFP tally. The continent, relatively spared by the pandemic, is the last except Oceania to reach the threshold of 100,000 deaths, which Europe crossed in April 2020. South Africa — the worst hit African country — rolled out a mass testing campaign at the start of the pandemic. To date, the country has recorded nearly 1.5 million cases and more than 48,000 deaths. But those figures, based on daily reports communicated by health authorities, only reflect a fr...
BREAKING: NAFDAC Approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine For Use In Nigeria

BREAKING: NAFDAC Approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine For Use In Nigeria

Covid-19 Update
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has approved the use of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria. The Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Mojisola Adeyeye made the announcement during a live briefing on Thursday. NAFDAC DG, Dr. Mojisola Adeyeye briefs journalists on the use of AstraZeneca Vaccine in Nigeria She said that the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8-degree centigrade. According to the DG, there are three additional vaccines undergoing evaluation, but the evaluation on Astrazeneca shows that the vaccine is effective against the UK variant of the virus which has been reported in Nigeria. Dr Adeyeye disclosed that the South African variant has not been reported in Nigeria, adding that the agency has over 30 herbal medicine...
COVID-19: EU Buys Up To 300m More Moderna Jabs

COVID-19: EU Buys Up To 300m More Moderna Jabs

Covid-19 Update
The European Union has bought up to 300 million extra Covid-19 vaccine doses from US firm Moderna, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday. The new deal, which she hailed as “good news”, adds to the EU’s vaccine stock as it strives to meet a target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of adults by mid-September. The commission now has access to a vaccine “portfolio” of 2.6 billion doses of three EU-authorised vaccines and three more prospective ones, to be provided this year and next, von der Leyen told a media conference. Numerically, that is more than enough for the EU’s 450 million inhabitants, with the excess going to neighbouring countries, she said. But another reason for such a big stock was to hedge against “the possibility for the virus to muta...
South Africa Offers AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine To AU

South Africa Offers AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine To AU

Covid-19 Update
South Africa said Tuesday it would offer its doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine to the African Union (AU) after scrapping their use due to efficacy concerns. The country suspended its vaccine rollout — meant to begin with the AstraZeneca shots earlier this month — after a study found the jab failed to prevent mild and moderate illness caused by a variant found in South Africa. “The doses we purchased have been offered to the African Union to distribute to those countries who have already expressed interest in acquiring the stock,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told parliament. “There will be no wasteful and fruitless expenditure.” The continent’s hardest-hit country by the pandemic had acquired a million doses of Covishield, a copy of the vaccine made by the Serum In...