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COVID-19

Northern governors to openly take COVID-19 vaccines

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Governors of the northern region have agreed to openly take the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines once brought into the country.

The move is aimed at allaying the fears of northerners about the vaccines.

The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, who is also Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, stated this, saying he and his colleagues have agreed to be in the front of the line to take the first doses.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State recently said the vaccine was intended to kill but his colleagues had distanced themselves from his claim.

Speaking at a teleconference organised by the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation (SABMF) on Thursday, Lalong, represented by Danladi Atu, Secretary to the Plateau State Government, expressed hope that their action would encourage the people to take the vaccine.

“We, the northern governors, have agreed to take the first doses of the vaccines,” the governor said.

Also speaking, Clara Ejembi, a professor of community medicine from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, said the people should continue to adhere to the COVID-19 protocol.

The professor said the vaccine does not stop one from being re-infected with the dreaded disease.

On his part, Faisal Shu’aibu, Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the federal government “is aiming at having over 70 per cent vaccinated in two years.”

Shu’aibu said it is projected that 40 per cent of the world’s population would be vaccinated in the first phase.

Speaking while addressing a crowd, Governor Bello doubted the authenticity of the vaccine, saying there is no cure for HIV and many other diseases troubling mankind.

“Vaccines are being produced in less than one year of COVID-19. There is no vaccine yet for HIV, malaria, cancer, headache and for several other diseases that are killing us. They want to use the (COVID-19) vaccines to introduce the disease that will kill you and us. God forbid,” he said.

“We should draw our minds back to what happened in Kano during the Pfizer polio vaccines that crippled and killed our children. We have learned our lessons.

“If they say they are taking the vaccines in the public allow them take their vaccines. Don’t say I said you should not take it but if you want to take it open your eyes before you take the vaccines.”

This is not the first time the Kogi governor would cast doubt on the existence of the viral disease or the potency of the vaccine.

Bello has repeatedly violated social distancing rules, among other protocol to curb the spread of the virus.

Kogi is one of the states where COVID-19 tests are next-to-nil as the governor insists that there is no coronavirus in the state.

In his New Year broadcast, Bello said it would be irresponsible of his government to see COVID-19 as a definer of 2020.

COVID-19

US to halt J&J COVID vaccine after blood clotting cases

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The United States federal health agencies on Tuesday recommended suspending the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The development comes after six recipients of the vaccine — all women– developed a “severe type of blood clot”.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they would stop using the vaccine at federal sites and asked states to do so as well while they investigate safety issues.

The agencies, in a joint statement, said they were “reviewing data involving six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare”.

“Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered,” they said.

“CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases.

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause. This is important to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”

It is the third COVID-19 vaccine that has received FDA’s authorisation, and also the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine available in the US.

About seven million people in the US have received the vaccine.

Similar reports of blood clot development in recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine made several European countries to suspend use of the product in March.

They have, however, resumed using the vaccine after European Union and British regulators said there was no link between the vaccine and the reported side effects.

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COVID-19

COVID-19: PTF transforms into presidential steering committee, completes task December

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COVID-19: PTF transforms into presidential steering committee, complete task December

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the transition of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to the presidential steering committee.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said President Muhamadu Buhari, stated this at a media briefing on Tuesday, adding that the mandate of the PSC would end on December 31.
According to him, the PSC will focus on ensuring effectiveness in the roll-out of the vaccine, and promote policies that will result in the development of the country’s health sector.
“Mr president has considered the report and has approved the following: That the PTF will transition to a presidential steering committee on COVID-19, effective from 1st April, 2021, with a modified mandate to reflect the non-emergent status of COVID-19 as a potentially long-term pandemic,” he said.
“That the structure of the PSC shall reflect the new focus of the response with a targeted approach on vaccine oversight, risk communication, international travel quarantine processes and sub-national engagement; that the tenure of the presidential steering committee shall last till 31st December, 2021.
“The presidential steering committee would maintain the present constitution, functions and strategies of the PTF; be supported by a slim technical and administrative structure.”

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COVID-19

Lagos shuts 430 event centres, night clubs

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The Lagos State Safety Commission says it has shut 430 event centres and night clubs for violating COVID-19 protocols.
Director General at the commission, Lanre Mojola, said at a news conference in Alausa, Ikeja that the commission was saddled with developing safety guidelines for the state’s reopening of economic activities in post COVID-19 lockdown.
“The commission was involved in the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and this led to the shutting of 30 event centres and 400 clubs across the state,” he added.
On construction safety, the DG said the commission carried out risk assessment and unscheduled safety inspection of construction sites to ensure safety compliance, as well as adherence to COVID-19 protocols, to prevent accidents, incidents, illnesses and loss of lives.
He said the commission issued provisional safety compliance certificates for 90 days and safety compliance certificates thereafter if compliance status was maintained.
Mojola said the enforcement was carried out in 609 construction sites for repeated failure to comply with safety regulations.
He said the annual World Safety Day would hold across the world on April 28 to create awareness, sensitise and educate people on the importance of keeping the workplace safe and free from occupational hazards, accidents, incidents and preventable illnesses.

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