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BREAKING: 90-year-old gets first COVID-19 vaccine in UK

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A COVID-19 vaccine has been injected into a patient for the first time in the UK.

ITV News reports that Margaret Keenan, who is from Coventry and will be 91 next week, said, “I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19.

“It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year.”

The jab, made by US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and German manufacturers BioNTech, will continue to be rolled out in 14 locations across the UK on Tuesday as the country’s biggest vaccination program kicks off.

And fronting the start of the fight back against the coronavirus pandemic is retired jeweller Margaret, who wore a blue Christmas t-shirt as the jab was quickly given without her “feeling a thing.”

With three weeks until her second jab, she should complete her course of injections just after Christmas, with full immunization expected in the first week of January.

Husband and wife Hari and Ranjan Shukla are also set for their first doses on Tuesday in Newcastle and said they feel “the crisis is going to come to an end.”

Shukla, who said he got the call on Friday from his doctor, said on Monday: “It’s an excellent idea, we will certainly do whatever we can because we are very excited about it.

“When we heard that we’ve got the vaccine now, we felt that the crisis is going to come to an end.”

He added, “I was very excited I got the opportunity of joining in and taking part, so we are very, very pleased and happy and excited as well.”

The couple join Margaret among the few to be vaccinated before the New Year, with the government expecting “the majority” of vulnerable people to follow suit in January and February.

Downing Street would not confirm whether they were expecting all 4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to arrive by the end of the year.

Croydon University Hospital in south London was one of the first hospitals to take delivery of the vaccine over the weekend, with similar scenes unfolding around the country ahead of the rollout.

Around 25 million people are covered by the 10 priority categories set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

The first vaccinations will go to care home staff and residents, NHS frontline workers and people aged 80 and over – around six million people.

But Westminster stressed that two further vaccines were still being assessed by regulators, which could boost the number of doses available.

There are 800,000 doses in the first tranche, meaning 400,000 people will be vaccinated initially.

Health

86% of COVID-19 infections in Africa go unnoticed – WHO

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About 86 per cent of all coronavirus infections in Africa go unnoticed, the World Health Organization reported on Thursday.

The WHO puts the number of all infections on the continent at 59 million, over seven times more than the eight million reported cases.

It said: “The high number of unreported cases can be explained by the fact that health facilities have so far focused on testing people. People with symptoms of the disease has led to extensive under-reporting.”

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said with limited testing, the continent is flying blind in far too many communities.

“By comparison, the United States, with about a third of the population, had conducted more than 550 million tests.

“While Britain, with less than 10 per cent of Africa’s population, had conducted more than 280 million tests.”

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In total, more than 8.4 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Africa, including 214,000 deaths.

According to WHO data, less than half of the African countries that received vaccines have fully vaccinated an average of about two per cent of their population.

dpa/NAN. “By comparison, the United States, with about a third of the population, had conducted more than 550 million tests.

“While Britain, with less than 10 per cent of Africa’s population, had conducted more than 280 million tests.”

In total, more than 8.4 million coronavirus cases have been recorded in Africa, including 214,000 deaths.

According to WHO data, less than half of the African countries that received vaccines have fully vaccinated an average of about two per cent of their population.

dpa/NAN.

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Entertainment

BBNaija winner, Whitemoney hospitalized in Lagos

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Winner of the 2021 Big Brother Naija, BBNaija, reality TV show, WhiteMoney, has been hospitalized.

 

WhiteMoney was hospitalized on Tuesday morning.

 

Although the cause of his illness was not revealed, he was sighted on drips.

 

Alongside an Instagram video of the 29-year old receiving treatment was a caption that read, ”Good morning, break in transmission. We will be back shortly.”

BBNaija finalists have been going for media rounds since their exit from the house. His tight schedule may be responsible for his breakdown.

 

WhiteMoney emerged winner of the ‘Shine ya Eye edition’ ahead of Liquorose, Pere, Cross, Angel and Emmanuel on the final day of the show.

 

He walked away with N30million in cash and prizes adding up to N60million.

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Health

FG stopped residency payment after strike suspension – NARD

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FRESH crisis may be brewing between the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors and the Federal Government as the association accused the government of already deviating from the understanding reached before it suspended its strike last week.

This was as the association also accused the government of causing confusion among its members and suspending the payment of the Medical Residency Training Funds

The National President of NARD, Dr Dare Ishaya, disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja on Monday.

But the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said there was no truth in the claim

The PUNCH had reported last week that the association, after interventions by the Nigerian Medical Association, suspended its industrial action with the aim of holding a meeting of the National Executive Committee to review the activities of the Federal Government six weeks after.

The NARD commenced its industrial action on August 2, 2021.

Sources familiar with the matter told our correspondent on Monday that since the association suspended its industrial action, the Federal Government stopped the payment of the medical residency training fund which it commenced before the strike was suspended.

“They paid 20 centres before we suspended the strike and they promised they would pay everything immediately we suspend the strike and the salary arrears.

“But the moment we suspended the strike, till now, we have not heard anything from them. Thirty-four centres have not been paid (medical residency training fund) and salary arrears, even the one for August and September have not been paid,” one of the sources said.

The National President of NARD, Ishaya, confirmed the development.

However, Ngige confirmed the aspect of non-payment of salaries, saying the case was still in court while government was working towards an out-of-court settlement.

He said the striking doctors would not be paid for the months they did not work.

On the residency fund, the minister said the payment was suspended because some individuals who were not resident doctors were paid.

The minister said, “Do you pay somebody who didn’t work in August, September? The truth of the matter is that the August and September salary is a matter that is still in court. So, when we go to court, we will try to see if we can do out-of-court settlement. But for now, nothing like payment.

Punch

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