The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Wednesday proposed that the Group of 20 set up an emergency task force to prepare a ‘Global Vaccination Plan’ against COVID-19. He told an open debate of the Security Council on “ensuring the equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in contexts affected by conflict and insecurity”. “We have come together to create the COVAX facility, the one global tool to procure and deliver vaccines for low- and middle-income countries. “COVAX requires to be fully funded. “But we must do even more; our efforts need to be comprehensive and well-coordinated everywhere,” said Guterres. “The world urgently needs a Global Vaccination Plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise as well as production and
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as co-leads of the COVAX initiative for equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines, alongside key delivery partner UNICEF, are pleased to welcome the news that two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine have been given WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL). Yesterday’s announcement means that two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, produced by AstraZeneca-SK Bioscience (AZ-SKBio) and the Serum Institute of India (AZ-SII), are now available for global rollout through the COVAX Facility. Building on the early information provided in the interim distribution forecast published on 3 February 2021, COVAX will now complete the pr
Scientists have identified another new variant of coronavirus in the UK with some potentially troubling mutations. B.1.525 appears similar to the South African variant which prompted door-to-door tests in areas where it has been found. Researchers from Edinburgh University have found 33 cases so far in samples dating back to December. It has been seen in other countries too, including Denmark, Nigeria and the US. UK experts are studying it to understand what risk it poses. It is too soon to say if it should be added to the UK's list of "variants of concern" and whether mass testing for it should happen. Prof Ravi Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, is one of the scientists advising the government
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on Monday disclosed that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has received the dossiers of four different COVID-19 vaccines for evaluation ahead of their usage in Nigeria. Ehanire disclosed this at the weekly press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja. He said the results of some of the evaluations were almost ready. He said since all COVID-19 vaccines were carrying a certain amount of risk, any vaccine not approved by the Ministry of Health through its agencies would be used in Nigeria. The minister said, “The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has received dossiers for Sputnik V vaccine of Russia, Covishield or Astra Zeneca manufactured under
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says it has confirmed 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 UK variant in the country. Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja, noting that the new variant had spread across six states in Nigeria. “We have now confirmed a total of 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, and this has been confirmed in Edo, Kwara, Lagos, Osun, Oyo and FCT,” Ihekweazu said. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant was first detected in the UK and have since spread to other parts of the world. The B.1.1.7 variant, which health experts described as highly infectious, had spread to more than 80 countries, according to the World Health Organisat
The World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says deaths from COVID-19 in Africa have surged by 40 percent in the last month, pushing Africa’s death toll towards 100,000 since the first reported case on the continent on 14 February, 2020. This comes as Africa battles new, more contagious COVID-19 variants and gears up for its largest-ever vaccination drive. Speaking during a virtual briefing on Wednesday, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said, “The increasing deaths from COVID-19 we are seeing are tragic, but are also disturbing warning signs that health workers and health systems in Africa are dangerously overstretched. This grim milestone must refocus everyone on stamping out the virus.” According to the
The World Health Organization recommends using the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca even in countries tackling new variants of coronavirus. Some new forms of the virus appear to make vaccines less effective. The WHO also says the vaccine can be used in people aged over 65, which some countries have advised against. Spacing out the two doses, as is happening in the UK, makes the vaccine more effective, it advises. The Oxford vaccine is seen as the "vaccine for the world" as it is cheap, can be mass produced and is stored in a standard fridge. However, it has attracted controversy about its effectiveness against new variants, whether it should be used in the elderly and how far apa...
The coronavirus variant first found in Kent could become the world's dominant strain, the head of the UK's genetic surveillance programme has predicted. Prof Sharon Peacock told the BBC's Newscast podcast the new variant has "swept the country" and "it's going to sweep the world, in all probability". She said her work sequencing variants of the virus could be required for at least 10 years. The Kent variant has already been detected in more than 50 countries. It was first detected in September 2020 in south-east England and its rapid spread over the following months was cited as the reason for the introduction of new lockdown rules across the UK in January. Prof Peacock, director of the Covid-19 Geno
The WHO mission to China to uncover the origins of the coronavirus has failed to identify the animal source, scientists said on Tuesday. Experts believe the disease – which has gone on to kill more than 2.3 million people worldwide – originated in bats and could have been transmitted to humans via another mammal. While transmission from animals was the likely route, so far “the reservoir hosts remain to be identified”, Liang Wannian, head of the China team, told reporters. He added that studies showed the virus “can be carried long-distance on cold chain products,” appearing to nudge towards the possible importation of the virus — a theory that has abounded in China in recent months. He also said there was “no indication” the sickness was in circulation in Wuhan
A team of international experts investigating the origins of Covid-19 have all but dismissed a theory that the virus came from a laboratory. Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) mission, said it was "extremely unlikely" that the virus leaked from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan. He said more work was needed to identify the source of the virus. The comments came at the conclusion of a joint WHO-China mission. Wuhan, in China's western Hubei province, is the first place in the world that the virus was detected. Since then, more than 106 million cases and 2.3 million deaths have been reported worldwide. Dr Embarek told a press conference that the investigation had uncovered new ...
Fossil fuel pollution caused more than eight million premature deaths in 2018, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of adult mortality worldwide, researchers reported on Tuesday. Half of that grim tally was split across China and India, with another million deaths equally distributed among Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan and the United States, they reported in the journal Environmental Research. The toxic cocktail of tiny particles cast off by burning oil, gas and especially coal was responsible for a quarter or more of the mortality in half a dozen nations, all in Asia. “We often discuss the dangers of fossil fuel combustion in the context of CO2 and climate change and overlook the potential health impacts,” co-author Joel Schwartz, a professor of environmental epidemiol
Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, says between September 2019 and September 2020, 279,000 persons living with HIV were identified throughout the country. Aliyu described the incidence as “the highest in the history of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.” He noted that, so far, 1.2m people living with the virus had been identified and put on antiretroviral therapy across the country, stressing that the Federal Government was working assiduously and hopeful to end HIV/AIDS transmission in the country by 2024. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Aliyu spoke while declaring open a five-day capacity strengthening of key and vulnerable populations in access to HIV services efficiency on Monday in Sokoto. He said, “Nigeria is working
Nigeria will soon receive over 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that will cover an estimated 45 per cent of the country’s population, the Federal Government said on Monday. The government said Nigeria subscribed to two multilateral vaccine access platforms; the first being the COVAX facility that will supply members, including Nigeria, vaccines free to cover 20 per cent of the population. The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said these in Abuja during the weekly press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. He said, “We subscribed to two multilateral vaccine access platforms; the first being the COVAX facility that will supply members, including Nigeria, vaccines free of charge, to cover 20 per cent of our population. “There has since been
The COVID-19 candidate vaccine developed by Nigerian researchers has been listed on the World Health Organisation draft landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines. The team lead of the vaccine candidate research, Dr. Oladipo Kolawole, who is also a lecturer at the Adeleke University, Ede, on Monday, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent. Kolawole said the research was carried out at the Helix Biogen Consult, Ogbomoso, Oyo state. The WHO draft landscape is the list of all COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the world, showing different stages and it is usually found on WHO’s site. The project coordinators are the vice-chancellor, Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, Prof. Julius Oloke, Dean, Faculty of Science, Adeleke University, Ede, Prof. Olubukola
Public Alert No:002/2021 – Recall Of Sportmix Pet Food By Midwestern Pet Food Due To Potentially Fatal Level Of Aflatoxin The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been informed that USFDA is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about certain Sport mix pet food products manufactured by Midwestern Pet Foods, Inc. in their Oklahoma plant that may contain potentially fatal levels of aflatoxins. Report reveals that more than 70 pets have died and more than 80 pets that are sick after eating Sport mix pet food. Aflatoxins are produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on corn and other grains used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness and death in pets. Pets exper