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Only About 260,000 People In Lagos Have Been Vaccinated – Commisioner

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Only About 260,000 People In Lagos Have Been Vaccinated - Commisioner
Prof. Akin Abayomi, Lagos State Commissioner for Health

Prof. Akin Abayomi, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, says that about 260,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state.

Abayomi told a ministerial media briefing on Tuesday in Lagos that the figure represented just one percent of the state’s population.

He said the second phase of vaccination would start soon and warned that Nigeria stood the risk of experiencing a third wave, having vaccinated only less than one percent of its population.

READ ALSO: Over 1 Million Nigerians Have Been Vaccinated – NPHCDA

According to him, health facilities in Lagos State have been placed on high alert to pick up early trends that may suggest a third wave of COVID-19.

”Currently, countries like India, Brazil, Argentina, Iraq, Qatar, Peru, and Uruguay are being ravaged by a vicious third or fourth wave following a less active and insignificant second or third wave.

”The latest wave in India has been proven to be as a result of new mutant strains that have resulted in a dramatic increase in sickness and deaths for two weeks running.

”Whilst we commiserate with these countries, it is important that we protect our environment and residents against this virus, especially as we have less than one percent of our population that have received their first dose of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine similar to India that has about eight percent,” he said.

READ ALSO: Over 1 Million Nigerians Have Been Vaccinated – NPHCDA

The commissioner said that Lagos was working toward ensuring a 60 percent herd immunity, representing 14 million people to be achieved.

He said that among steps being taken to curb a third wave of the virus included aggressive testing, including mutant PCR testing to identify the particular virus strain.

”It also included the deployment of technology (EKOTELEMED) to track and monitor inbound travelers; enforcing non-pharmaceutical interventions; increase in oxygen supply and vaccination,” he noted.

Abayomi said that of the 123 passengers of interest tracked between April 13 and April 27, 110 (89 percent) were called by EKOTELEMED, with only 39 percent reached and tracked.

He said that 66 percent had Lagos as their final destination, while about 28 percent filled in no address in Nigeria or filled in a foreign address.

The commissioner further said that the total samples tested so far was 460,647, with 58,222 confirmed positive.

He added that of this number, 168,312 (37 percent) were tested in public laboratories while 292,335 (63 percent) were tested in private laboratories.

General News

ALERT: Dreaded India’s COVID-19 Variant Discovered In Nigeria

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ALERT: Dreaded India's COVID-19 Variant Discovered In Nigeria

The African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) in the Redeemers University, Ede, Osun State, has detected the COVID-19 strain, currently ravaging India, in Nigeria.

The variant, according to a report, was detected nearly three weeks ago and has been communicated to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had again restricted gatherings at worship centres and banned nightclubs following reports that the devastating COVID-19 strain in South Africa had spread to 23 other countries.

The detection of the Indian strain in Nigeria contributed to the fresh regulations issued by the Federal Government.

The detection had been listed on GISAID, a global science initiative that provided open access to genomic data of influenza viruses.

A notification dated Sunday, April 25, 2021, sent by Professor Christian Hapi of the ACEGID to the NCDC, read in part, “We have found five sequences of the India B.1.617 in the country, specifically in Edo and Osun states.”

Hapi, however, clarified that the strain in India has two more mutations than the one identified in Nigeria which makes the one in India more aggressive.

“What we have is the B1.617 from India. That is the variant they had but that variant has now evolved beyond the mutation that we identified.

“The one India evolved by two mutations. It is the same strain with India but their own now has a couple of mutations. So, it is the same as what we detected but also different in characteristics,” he added.

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Health & Wellness

Why Nigeria Cannot Locally Produce COVID-19 Vaccines – FG

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Why Nigeria Cannot Locally Produce COVID-19 Vaccines – FG
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said that local production of COVID-19 vaccines cannot start now in Nigeria.

Ehanire made this known in Abuja while explaining why local production of COVID-19 vaccines cannot start in the country at the moment as the world continues to fight vaccine nationalism.

He attributed the delay to the government’s inability to procure the required technology for production.

READ ALSO: FG Has Not Approved Private Importation Of COVID Vaccines – Minister

The minister said that the N10 billion earmarked by the National Assembly for that purpose is intact.

The Federal Government, he said, was still in talks with local vaccine firm, Bio-Vaccine Nigeria Limited.

“Nigeria is a 49 percent shareholder in a company called Bio-Vaccine Nigeria Limited, and the bio-vaccine is a revival of the former vaccine plants that the Federal Government used to have, in which the private sector was invited to join and form a special purpose vehicle – a company called Bio-Vaccine.

Now the joint venture was stalled because of the COVID-19 outbreak – when there was a lockdown and when nothing could move.

”So there is a lot of delay by the company in getting themselves on their feet.

“The aspiration to produce vaccines has not been fulfilled. It is not that it is abandoned.

”We are working on it and I have spoken with one of the members of the board of management of the bio-vaccine and we are working on getting that technology to both produce routine vaccines and also COVID-19 vaccines under license and importation of the technology and partnership for it.”

According to reports, the Ministry of Finance released N10 billion to support COVID-19 vaccine production in the country.

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Health & Wellness

Second Dose Of COVID-19 Now Available For Nigerians

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Second Dose Of COVID-19 Now Available For Nigerians

Nigeria will begin administering the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on eligible Nigerians who received the first shots.

Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), made this known during the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) briefing in Abuja.

Shuaib advised health workers, frontline workers aged 18 years and above, and persons aged 50 years and above to visit any designated vaccination site to receive the vaccine free of charge.

READ ALSO: Over 1 Million Nigerians Have Been Vaccinated – NPHCDA

I want to remind you that the eligibility period between the first and second doses of the vaccine has been expanded from 12 weeks to between six to 12 weeks, in line with the scientific recommendation provided by the World Health Organisation’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE on immunization).

”The PSC has approved the second dose of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccination in all states of the federation and the FCT.

“We have redeployed Senior Supervisors to the states and have continued to monitor activities with daily evening review meetings to determine the status of the COVID-19 vaccine implementation in all states and the FCT.

“These meetings, allows us to receive reports from the sub-national level on how the campaigns are proceeding, what challenges they face, and how we can proactively anticipate and resolve any impending challenges.

”The meetings also provide an avenue to troubleshoot and resolve any operational hurdles as they emerge, before they become problematic,” he explained.

He said that as was recorded in the poliovirus eradication fight, the agency is strengthening the COVID-19 vaccination campaign at the community level with Town Hall meetings across the country.

”Already we held the North-Central Zonal Town Hall Meeting two weeks ago in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa state.

”In weeks ahead, the agency hopes to continue the dialogue in other geo-political zones of the country.

“The town hall meetings afford the communities the opportunity to directly participate in dialogue with the government as we work to protect the people against the pandemic.

“We know that many people are very concerned about the health threats posed by COVID-19, but also about the economic threats.

”The meetings allow for views and concerns to be heard as we work together to move beyond COVID-19 as a nation,” he said.

The NPHCDA boss urged Nigerians to continue to cooperate with vaccinators who were providing an incredibly important service to the nation amid this global crisis.

He added that the government would ensure that only safe and efficacious vaccines were supplied for all phases of the vaccination campaign in the country.

“We would like to state our appreciation to the Nigerian citizens for the cooperation they are providing to our vaccination teams across the country.

”We are continuing to optimize our registration and immunization data system, to maximize the efficiency of this system.

 The need to protect ourselves and put COVID-19 behind us, the way we have done to polio so that we can return to our normal living, truly is a national effort,” he stated.

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