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COVID-19 Vaccine: Nigeria Records 8,439 Side Effects, Says NPHCDA

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 8,439 persons across the country have reported mild side effects after they received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director of NPHCDA, disclosed this in Abuja on Friday at a media briefing organised by the agency and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to give an update on the status of COVID-19 vaccination in the country.

While noting that those who reported severe side effects were less than 100, he said there has been no record of death or blood clots associated with the distribution of the vaccine.

“Out of over a million persons given the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria, 8,439 persons have suffered mild adverse events following immunisation (AEFI), and 52 persons moderate to severe adverse events on receiving the jab,” Shuaib said.

“While the mild reactions include body pains and swelling, the moderate to severe adverse events presented were fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.”

According to NAN, Shuaib listed the five states with the highest records of side effects as follows: Kaduna (970), Cross River (859), Yobe (541), Kebbi (511), and Lagos (448), adding that investigation is ongoing to verify the nature of the symptoms.

The executive director, who noted that the government has reviewed the timeframe for eligibility for the second dose in line with recommendations by WHO, added that the plan is to ensure that the first phase of vaccination is completed before the expiration date in July.

“Furthermore, as a result of this overall programme review to meet the challenges of global vaccine demand and supply mismatch, and the late commencement of the vaccination in some states, we are expanding the eligibility period between the first and second doses of the vaccine from 12 weeks to between eight to 12 weeks,” he said.

“This is still in line with the scientific recommendation provided by the World Health Organisation’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE on immunisation) that the two doses of the vaccine be given at an interval of eight to 12 weeks.”

Nigeria has received close to 4.5 million doses of the vaccine — 3.94 million delivered via the United Nations-led COVAX facility, while others are donations from India and private organisations.

Rollout began on March 5, and according to NPHCDA, more than one million Nigerians have received the first dose of the vaccine.

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AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccines Supplied To Nigeria To Be Expired Soon – Prof. Abayomi

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The batch of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines supplied to Nigeria for use will expire July 9, 2021.

This was disclosed on Wednesday by Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, while giving update on vaccination in the State.

Abayomi, who disclosed that 257,756 residents of Lagos had been vaccinated said by July 9, the vaccines would expire and that they have to be used to vaccinate the people before that time.

“The COVID-19 vaccines are due to expire on 9th July 2021. Our monitoring and evaluation quality assurance activity indicates that our cold chain distribution logistics has been maintained ensuring the integrity of the vaccines,” he said.

Giving a breakdown, Abayomi said of the 257,756 persons inoculated as of the 15th of April 2021, 59,444 (23.1%) were health workers; 109,809 (42.6%) were essential workers and 88,503 (34.3%) were strategic leaders.

“Our gender distribution data indicated that we have vaccinated more females than males; with 131,283 females representing 50.9% and 126,473 males representing 49.1% vaccinated as of April 15th, 2021,” he said.

The commissioner stated that evaluation report revealed that Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Ikeja, Kosofe, Alimosho and Surulere were the top six Local Government Areas with the highest number of persons vaccinated.

He disclosed that 28,257 and 25,094 persons were vaccinated in Eti-Osa and Lagos Mainland.

 

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Pfizer Vaccine Found Effective Against COVID-19 Variants

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Israeli researchers report that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is as effective against B.1.1.7 variant of the virus, aka the U.K. variant, as it is against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain.

The vaccine was found to be moderately less effective against the B.1.351 (South African) variant and the combined British-South African variants of the coronavirus.

The study was published on March 20 in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.

“Our findings show that future variants could necessitate a modified vaccine as the virus mutates to increase its infectivity,” said principal investigator Ran Taube of the Shraga Segal Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics in Ben-Gurion University’s Faculty of Health Sciences.

The researchers are continuing to test other circulating variants as they emerge, consisting of mutations that could possibly pose a challenge to the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness. A recently detected Israeli variant is “of no clinical or epidemiological significance,” according to the Israeli Health Ministry.

The ministry is conducting ongoing studies regarding the known coronavirus mutations, sending samples from every hospital and the four national health maintenance organisations to the Central Virology Lab at Sheba Medical Centre.

Thus far, these studies support the Ben-Gurion research, showing that no currently circulating variants are significantly resistant to the Pfizer vaccine.

Source: The Nation

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NCDC Records No Death Amid Reports That Odumakin Died Of COVID-19

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For the past 48 hours, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has recorded zero COVID-19 death.

From the data obtained by DAILY POST on Sunday from its Saturday report, NCDC recorded the last death on Thursday.

Meanwhile, there have been reports that the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin died of the COVID-19 complications on Saturday morning.

The Afenifere’s spokesman was said to have died in an isolation centre at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.

But the health agency, while giving a report on Saturday night via its official website, failed to capture the death.

Meanwhile, NCDC has reported 50 new cases in six states as total confirmed infections in the country jump to 163,113.

So far, the dreaded virus has killed no fewer than 2,058 persons since its outbreak in Nigeria, February 2020.

However, about 151,853 patients have been successfully treated and discharged.

States with fresh cases include Lagos-27, Plateau-11, Bayelsa-7, Gombe-3, Nasarawa-1 and Ekiti-1.

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