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Daily COVID Tracker: Vaccination not compulsory in Adamawa and EU approves J&J jab

Author:
Samuel Akpan

European Medicines Agency (EMA) says there is no indication that Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is linked to an increased risk of blood clots. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Friday. 

EU approves Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has authorised Johnson & Johnson’s one dose COVID-19 vaccine for use in the European Union.

The approval brings to four the number of vaccines approved by the EU medicines regulator after Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

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“With this latest positive opinion, authorities across the European Union will have another option to combat the pandemic and protect the lives and health of their citizens,” Emer Cooke, EMA’s executive-director, said.

Vaccine not compulsory in Adamawa

Ahmadu Fintiri, governor of Adamawa, has told residents of his state that though the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, it is not compulsory.

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Fintiri spoke on Thursday after taking the COVID-19 shot at the Yola Specialist Hospital.

The governor said willing residents of the state will be vaccinated in batches.

“We have taken it, and it is safe and we are encouraging our citizens to go ahead and take the vaccine, but it is not compulsory,” he said.

“We are only encouraging them to take because that is the only way out to keep their health and that of their families safe. Government has a plan and intention to vaccinate everybody and it will be in batches.”

Rwandan president receives COVID-19 vaccine

Paul Kagame, Rwandan president, on Thursday received the COVID-19 vaccine.

He is being reported to be the first leader in East Africa to have received the vaccine.

On March 3, the country received about 103,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine through the United Nations-led COVAX initiative.

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Rwanda later began vaccinating its citizens on March 5, becoming the first African country to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Many countries in Africa, including Nigeria, opted for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine instead of Pfizer’s over storage convenience.

The president and his wife, Jeannette, were pictured receiving the vaccine on the Rwandan presidency’s Twitter account.

Moderna expects vaccine booster data by May

Moderna, vaccine maker, says it expects to have results on a COVID-19 vaccine booster by May or earlier.

Moderna announced on Wednesday that the first participants have received its modified COVID-19 vaccine designed as a booster to address emerging virus variants.

“We would certainly want to have, by the summer, that early data showing whether or not a variant-specific … update to the vaccine – a vaccine 2.0, if you will – Covid vaccine 2.0 – provides a better advantage to boosting than other approaches,” Stephen Hoge, Moderna president, said.
The vaccine maker said it is developing a strategy to address the emerging variants out of an abundance of caution.

‘No indication’ of clots in Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

European Medicines Agency (EMA) says there is no indication that Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is linked to an increased risk of blood clots.

The EMA made the clarification after a number of countries, including Denmark, Iceland and Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after “severe cases of blood clots” were reported in people who had been vaccinated.

A 50-year-old, who received the vaccine, was said to have died in Italy after developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

But in a statement on Thursday, EMA said “there is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine”.

The agency added that “the vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks and the vaccine can continue to be administered while investigation of cases of thromboembolic events is ongoing”.

COVID-19 IN NIGERIA

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