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Showing posts with label vaccine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vaccine. Show all posts

Monday, November 08, 2021


COVID19 vaccine: Lagos clarifies N6,000 fee at private facilities

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, has given reasons the state fixed N6,000 fee for individuals who would prefer to receive the COVID vaccine at private facilities.

The clarification comes after the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced the fee while flagging off the state’s mass vaccination exercise on October 27.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Abayomi said the state is collaborating with the private sector to ensure that those who prefered to receive the vaccine at private facilities rather than public ones are covered in the vaccination exercise.

The commissioner also noted that the fee for private sites would cover logistics, personnel, and other related costs and added that vaccination was free at public facilities.

The statement read, “The State Government, through the Primary Health Care Board, does not have the capacity alone to ramp up vaccination to this massive level in such a short time and before the deadline, hence the need to include the private sector,”

“The public-private partnership is similar to the strategy we deployed for escalating our COVID-19 testing which resulted in a dramatic increase in testing done in Lagos from an average of 200 a day to over 2,000 a day culminating in a total of 800,000 tests in less than a year and Lagos State accounting for more than 30% alone of all COVID-19 PCR tests done in Nigeria. This demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships, with the inclusion of the significant capacity of the private sector but [the] government retaining strict regulatory oversight and quality function.

“With this approach, we intend to ramp up our vaccination strategy using the existing public facilities as well as [the] inclusion of some private facilities. It is imperative to emphasise that the vaccines administered in public facilities is free and would remain free to the public as they were contributed to us by the Federal Government and our donor partners, those wishing to receive the vaccines can go to any of the designated 206 government facilities and receive their dose totally free of charge.

“However, those that wish to receive the vaccines within the comforts of a private facility can do so at a minimal administrative cost of N6,000 for two doses, which covers the cost that the private sector, will incur to facilitate the administration of the vaccine which includes logistics, personnel, quality oversight, administrative and overhead costs.

“The cost will be proportionally lower for single dose or those wishing to take a single booster dose,” the statement added. Punchng

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


SA president blasts vaccine hoarding at Davos forum

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday lashed “vaccine nationalism,” accusing rich countries of bulk-buying coronavirus vaccines and hoarding them to the detriment of others.

Addressing the all-virtual 2021 World Economic Forum (WEF), Ramaphosa said low- and middle-income countries were being shouldered aside by wealthier nations able to acquire “up to four times what their population needs”.

“We are concerned about vaccine nationalism,” he warned.

“Rich countries in the world are holding on to these vaccines and we are saying: release the excess vaccines that you have ordered and hoarded.”

Ramaphosa’s comments coincides with growing concerns that bilateral deals between wealthier governments and coronavirus vaccine manufacturers could hike prices and limit supply in some regions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had already warned against “vaccine nationalism” and “price gouging” last year, before a successful jab was found.

WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus this month told rich countries not to “cut the queue” and called on those which had ordered excess doses to hand them over to its Covax vaccine-sharing facility.

South Africa, the continent’s worst-affected nation, is already paying two and a half times more for Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine than European Union members, its health ministry said last week.

EU says it has invested heavily in the vaccine, taking the risk of funding its development and pre-production at a time when there was no guarantee that it would be effective.

A first batch of at least 1.5 million doses ordered from the Serum Institute of India is expected to arrive in South Africa this month.

That eagerly-awaited shipment will mark the start of its inoculation campaign, which aims to vaccinate two thirds of a 60 million-strong population by the end of 2021.

A total of 20 million doses have been ordered so far.

Covax is expected to provide shots for 10 percent of the population later this year, while other vaccines will be supplied via the African Union (AU) and bilateral contracts with manufacturers that have not yet been disclosed.

But Ramaphosa said pooling initiatives such as the AU-led African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) had only been “marginally successful”.

He urged vaccine hoarders to make excess doses directly available to their less wealthy counterparts and back this with financial assistance.

“We want vaccines as quickly as other countries do,” Ramaphosa added.

“Coronavirus… affects all of us equally. Therefore our remedies, our actions to combat it must also be equal.”

While reported coronavirus cases have remained comparatively low in Africa, many countries are battling with second infection waves often more viscous than their first.

More infectious virus variants, including one discovered in South Africa, have meanwhile accelerated the global vaccine scramble.

AVATT, established by Ramaphosa himself as AU chair, has committed to buying a provisional 270 million vaccine doses for African countries.

Covax is aiming to deliver 600 million shots to the continent.

It is estimated Africa will need 1.5 billion vaccine doses to immunise 60 percent of its 1.3 billion inhabitants, costing between $7 and $10 billion. Theguardianng

Tuesday, January 12, 2021


COVID-19: FG to spend $8 each on vaccine for 144m

Nigeria may spend around $576 million to procure COVID-19 vaccine, it was gathered at the weekend.

The government plans to immunise 70 per cent of Nigerians who are at risk of the virus, Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib said.

According to him, free vaccine to immunise 20 per cent of those to be vaccinated, will be made available to the country and 91 other countries by the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI).

The first batch of 100,000 Pfizer vaccine doses from the COVAX facility will arrive in the country at the end of this month or early next month. It will be used in two jabs each on 50,000 Nigerians.

To meet up with vaccination of 50 per cent of Nigerians, the government will need to pay $8 for two doses each.

According to the United Nations data and the data made available by the National Population Commission (NPC), Nigeria’s population is 206 million.

Nigeria’s target is to vaccinate 70 per cent (144.2 million) of its 206 million people.

At the rate of $8 for two doses per person, it will spend at least $576million to vaccinate 50 per cent (72.1million) of the 144.2million people.

Should the country choose to vaccinate half of its total population, which is about 103,000,000, it will spend about $824milion.

Dr. Shuaib said: “The country is expecting only one vaccine (i.e. Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine) in the first batch coming in by end of January/early February.

“The country is not buying any COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer or China. The country plans to get COVID-19 vaccines from two (2) sources: the GAVI and direct purchase from alternative sources (other manufacturers).

“From the COVAX Facility source, GAVI will be supporting 92 eligible countries with vaccines to immunise about 20 per cent of their population free in 2021.

“The government of the participating countries will pay for additional doses above the 20 per cent to be supplied by GAVI. Pfizer is one of the companies that GAVI will get limited quantity of the COVID-19 vaccines from to give to the 92 eligible countries (including Nigeria).

He added: “Since only about 20 per cent supplies is being expected from GAVI, the country’s team is working with Russian authorities on the possibility of getting additional COVID 19 vaccines from them.

“In 2021, about $4.0 /dose ($8.0 / person for two doses) is being budgeted for the additional vaccine that the country will require.

“The Federal Government will be responsible for the procurement of additional COVID-19 vaccines for 50 per cent of the population and all the operational costs for the targeted 70 per cent of the population.”

The NPHCDA boss said COVID-19 vaccination will not be compulsory, but will be made available to all those targeted.

“And we advise / appeal to all Nigerians at risk to avail themselves of vaccination willingly when the vaccines are available. Vaccines to be used in the country are safe with proven efficacy of above 90 per cent.

“All vaccines acquired by the government for vaccination of its citizen will pass through NAFDAC for analysis before use.”

Shuaib said the Federal Government has raised a Technical Working Group (TWG)  to plan a successful COVID-19 immunisation.

Dr Shuaib chairs the TWG whose members are stakeholders involved in COVID-19 response. These are: FMoH, NPHCDA, NCDC, NAFDAC, Federal Min of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Information, National Orientation Agency (NOA), NTA, CSOs, Professional bodies and Organised Private Sectors. Other members are development partners and donors.

The WHO and other International NGOs/Foundations will provide technical support to the team.

Speaking on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, Dr. Shuaib said: “COVID-19 vaccines that have been pre-qualified will protect against most strains and reduce morbidity and mortality from the disease. It will be better to reduce the risk than not want to take the vaccine.”

He added: “There are over 80 strains of Rotavirus, but only about 18 of the strains are of significance that can cause major diseases. Available Rotavirus vaccines can prevent against infection from the strains that cause the diseases.

“Coronavirus is linked to the SAR-2 Group of viruses; and there has been a lot of researches since the last Flu- pandemic that claimed several lives globally.” Thenationonlineng

Saturday, December 12, 2020


Nigeria to access vaccine from Jan - Okonjo-Iweala

Chair of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has assured that Nigeria and other African countries will have access to COVID-19 vaccines from the end of January.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted Okonjo-Iweala as making this statement during a meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama on Wednesday.

“As long as one person has it in the world, no one is safe. And that is why poorer countries, lower-middle-income countries like Nigeria, need to get it as quickly as possible,” she was quoted as saying.

Okonjo-Iweala is currently the African Union special envoy on mobilising international economic support for the continental fight against COVID-19 and Nigeria’s candidate for the position of World Trade Organisation director-general.

She explained that there is an ongoing international initiative involving the World Health Organisation, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI and the international community to get vaccines delivered to developing and poorer countries, in an affordable manner and quickly.

According to her, the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca were presently being negotiated so that poor countries don’t have to stand in a queue behind rich countries.

The former finance minister described Africans as blessed, for not having the same incidence rate of COVID-19 like other continents, but warned African nations against complacency.

Okonjo-Iweala said a platform called the COVAX facility had been developed with 186 countries onboard to raise resources and get the vaccines to poor countries quickly.

“So, the Pfizer vaccine, the AstraZeneca, those are being negotiated now so that poor countries don’t have to stand in line behind rich countries,” she explained.

“So, we hope they are starting by the end of January. We will be able to reach these countries, including most of the African countries, Nigeria included, will be able to get access to some of these vaccines.” Thenationonlineng

Monday, December 09, 2019


Health: How close are we to HIV cure and vaccine?

Among the avenues that will put healthcare ahead of HIV/Aids is the development of vaccines, cures and multiple prevention mechanisms.

Scientists and activists who spoke to The New Times on the sidelines of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) said that there are ongoing efforts in search of vaccines, cures and more efficient prevention mechanisms.

Most chose to be cautiously optimistic on when exactly the advancements will be confirmed successful, they said that vaccines and cure studies could be the much-needed intervention in the fight against HIV/Aids.

Initial expectations indicated that there will be progress in the vaccines by 2021.

Mark Dybul, a member of the Board of Directors for IAVI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative said that although the cure and vaccines are not yet in sight, they are also engaging stakeholders to understand how communities might respond to the vaccines and cure.

There is also an awareness that when vaccines become available, they are likely to be partially effective hence the need to manage expectations.

“We are nowhere near a cure, we are nowhere near a vaccine. There are some trials underway and we are further along the way on vaccines. But we are engaging now to understand how the communities are likely to respond,” he said.

For instance, it's ideal to understand stakeholders expectations on the vaccines and cure, their administration dosage and rollout.

This will ensure that whatever the model of administration will be, it will be understandable to the population.

Dybul who previously served as executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said that people need to be sensitized before vaccines are available.

For instance, he said that on the introduction of Antiretroviral Therapy and medication, there was widespread concern and hesitance as they did not understand the intervention hence some resistance in the initial phase.

“Pharmaceutical companies and research institutions are doing work with the pursuit and hoping to make as much progress as possible and make progress as fast,” he said.

For vaccines, there are some trials underway with findings and initial outcomes expected between 2020 and 2021 after which it could take up to 7 or 8 years before it’s developed into a fully usable vaccine after regulator input.

The current consultation in Africa and beyond also includes ways the public would be open to use the vaccine or cure.

Dybul said that the consultations underway are important in the design process to ensure the relevance.

“There are whole lots of things you look at in terms of acceptability, efficacy, and delivery among other aspects to design. What has been a concern to us is that most of the science has been around things that require chemotherapy or transplant which would not be readily available to the whole world,” he said.

In the process, stakeholders are involving African countries as it’s a continent that has the highest disease burden compared to the rest of the world with about 60 percent of the persons living with the ailment being in Africa.

Linda-Gail Bekker,  the immediate former President of the International AIDS Society said that much work is underway in coming up in regard to prevention of HIV/Aids beyond condoms and Antiretroviral medicine which is being used.

With the efficiency, admissibility and ease of uptake of condoms and ARV tablets and prevention having challenges, they are testing other ways that could aid prevention.

The prevention mechanism under tests will involve aspects such as implants, injectables, or pills that can be taken once a month taking into context that daily pills are not always easy to use.

She said that in the process, they have been taking in lessons on aspects that they need to consider. With that they are doing the trials in Africa to ensure that the outcomes are relevant and implementable in Africa.

Despite substantial progress in understanding and treating the ailment, experts say that existing tools have not effectively controlled the epidemic, and the potential threat of resurgence looms as the largest cohort of young people in history enters early adulthood which experts say that treatment alone will not end the epidemic.

With that experts have recommended that global treatment efforts should be complemented with stronger investments in primary prevention, including research to accelerate the development of a preventive vaccine.

Roger Tatoud Deputy Director HIV Programmes and Advocacy International AIDS Society said that there is a need to expedite the process as the fight against HIV/Aids is constantly missing its prevention targets.

A young lady born with HIV told The New Times said that for her and others like her, a cure is necessary and ought to be viewed as a right. (Newtimes)
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