Covid-19 Update: FG Insists AstraZeneca Vaccine is Safe, PTF Warns Against 3rd Wave
It is another week with new and interesting developments surrounding the covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria. In this roundup, the developments include the debacle about the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccines and the warnings against a third wave of the virus.
There is no news of clubs being shut down and clubbers arrested by the police this week. It seems the arrests of the previous weeks indeed served as a deterrent for others in the business.
These are the interesting developments this week.
FG insists Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe
Amidst growing fears that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is causing serious blood clots in people who have taken it in other countries, the Nigerian federal government has announced that the vaccine is safe for Nigerians.
Countries that have suspended the use of the vaccine include Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Italy and Spain. South Africa has also suspended the vaccine but this is because the covid-19 strain prevalent in the country is resistant to it.
The Presidential Tasks Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has, however, insisted that the vaccine only caused side effects that are “generally mild” in those who have taken a jab. According to the National Incident Manager (NIM) of the PTF on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Muhammad, the WHO has vouched for the vaccine’s safety and efficacy, and also assures that it has about 70 per cent efficacy level.
Nonetheless, people who experience side effects longer than 24 hours are to report to the appropriate channels for monitoring.
List of vaccination centres in Lagos
Lagos State has released a list of vaccination centres across the state. Altogether, there are 88 centres in the 20 local government areas. The centres include Sango PHC and Powerline PHC in Agege, Akere PHC and Layeni PHC in Ajeromi, Akowonjo PHC and Helen Aderonke PHC in Alimosho and Ijora Oloye PHC in Apapa.
NAF Mother & Child Hospital in Badagry, Agbowa PHC in Epe, Ikoyi PHC and Ikate PHC in Eti-Osa and LASUTH in Ikeja. You can find the full list here.
The vaccine centres have been commissioned just as the presidential task force has issued out an appeal to Nigerians to prevent a third wave of the covid-19. At the PTF briefing on Monday, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, said that no one can heave a sigh of relief yet despite the availability of covid-19 vaccines.
He said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the virus is very potent and people still get infected. It is also a fact that the vaccination process has only just begun. It has been reported that some countries are recording a third wave of cases.”
Italy, France and Germany are currently experiencing the third wave and Italy has initiated the lockdown procedure with people going out for essential needs only.
Vaccine supplies will increase as WTO-DG sets out to ease restrictions on supplies
It takes a whole lot of components to make one vaccine and those components are scattered across different countries with different levels of trade restrictions. The director-general of the World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, said that one of the WTO’s priorities is to reduce the restrictions.
This will help the member countries of the WTO to easily get the supplies needed to make vaccines. Citing the case of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine, she said, “We had a meeting with the manufacturers a couple of days ago in Geneva and their representative said that it takes 280 components to manufacture their vaccine. And it’s in a supply chain that involves 19 countries.”
”So in the supply chains, so many of our products, medical products are global. And so when a country puts export restrictions on one, it means that you slow the production everywhere, that’s where the WTO comes in.” As the efforts to ease trade restrictions progress, manufacturers will be able to make more vaccines and more countries will have timely access to the doses to stem the tide of the pandemic.
Katsina and other states that received vaccine doses this week
More states in the North have received vaccines for the inoculation of their citizens. The latest states to join the league are Katsina, Taraba, Zamfara and Kebbi. In total, they received 276,564 doses, Katsina received 107,504 doses, Taraba got 56,250 doses, Kebbi got 57,810 and Zamfara got 55,000.
As of the time of writing, every state has gotten the vaccine doses except Kogi. The cold storage system in the state was vandalised during the EndSARS protests and have not been restored since then.
The rate of infection in each state of the country has continued to drop week on week. In the last week (March 11 to 17), 1,615 people tested positive for the covid-19. Compared to the 2,289 cases that were recorded in the previous week and the 2,654 cases in the week before that, this is a drop in infection rate. Till next week when another roundup comes up, let’s keep the numbers dropping and stay safe.
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