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Daily COVID Tracker: Nigeria records 67 infections and pregnant women to be vaccinated in UK

Author:
Samuel Akpan

Nigeria on Friday recorded 67 cases of COVID-19. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Saturday. 

8,439 out of over 1m vaccinated Nigerians reported mild side effects

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, who disclosed this in Abuja on Friday, said those who reported severe side effects were less than 100.

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He added that 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.

He 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.

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Biden to invest $1.7 billion to fight COVID-19 variants

President Joe Biden says he will invest $1.7 billion to help states and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention fight COVID-19 variants that are rapidly spreading in the country.

The investment is said to be part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

According to a statement issued on Friday, the White House said the investment will improve detection, monitoring, and mitigation of COVID-19 variants by scaling up genomic sequencing efforts to contain its spread.

The investment will be carried out in three areas: $1 billion to expand genomic sequencing, $400 million to help build six research centres for genomic epidemiology and $300 million to build a national bioinformatics infrastructure — which will help build a repository of data.

NCDC reports 67 new cases, zero death in 24 hours

Sixty-seven cases of COVID-19 were reported in eight states and the federal capital territory (FCT) on Friday.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its update for April 16.

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Lagos topped the list with 26 fresh infections, followed by Kaduna, with 11 cases.

Other states that reported infections include Akwa Ibom (8), Rivers (8), Ogun (5), Kano (3), Osun (3), FCT (2), Plateau (1).

However, for the fifth day this week, no fatality was recorded.

Since Nigeria’s COVID-19 index case was reported on February 27, 2020, 164,147 cases have been confirmed, 154,304 patients have recovered while 2,061 persons have died from the virus.

Ex-Peru president banned from public office over vaccine scandal

Martín Vizcarra, former Peru President, has been banned from holding public office for 10 years after he allegedly jumped the queue to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Congress members approved his ban by 86 votes in favour and zero against.

According to Reuters, Vizcarra was found guilty of influence peddling, collusion and making false declarations in relation to Peru’s VIP vaccines scandal.

Many ministers and public officials were said to have received the Sinopharm vaccines before they became publicly available in the country.

Congress also disqualified Pilar Mazzetti, former health minister from holding public office for eight years, while  Elizabeth Astete, ex-foreign minister was banned for a year.

Pregnant women to be offered COVID-19 vaccines in UK

Pregnant women in the United Kingdom are now eligible to be offered either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, according to UK’s vaccine advisers.

According to guidance released on Friday, the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) said available data does not indicate harm to pregnancy.

“Although clinical trials on the use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy are not advanced, the available data do not indicate any harm to pregnancy,” the guidance read.

“JCVI [The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] has therefore advised that women who are pregnant should be offered vaccination at the same time as non-pregnant women, based on their age and clinical risk group.

“There is now extensive post-marketing experience of the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in the USA with no safety signals so far. These vaccines are therefore the preferred vaccines to offer to pregnant women.

“Pregnant women who commenced vaccination with AstraZeneca, however, are advised to complete with the same vaccine.”

COVID-19 IN NIGERIA

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