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Existing Vaccines Are Ineffective Against New Variants – FG

Boss Mustapha

Boss Mustapha

The Federal Government has come out to say that Nigerians should keep maintaining all non-pharmaceutical measures against the COVID-19.

The Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha recently disclosed this at a briefing of the task force.

According to him, the vaccines have proved largely ineffective against some new variants of the virus, so this move is absolutely necessary.

He added that the global hope offered by the arrival of vaccines has been threatened by the detection of variants of concern as described by the WHO (B.1.1.7; B.1.351; P.1), so everyone must remain vigilant.

His words, “The World Health Organization (WHO) granted Emergency Use License (EUL) to three vaccines – Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. There are at least 10 other vaccines that have been granted emergency use approval by national regulatory authorities, and more than 80 vaccine candidates in development. Additionally, two antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test kits (RDTs) have been approved for use by the World Health Organisation (WHO).”

“As you are aware, Nigeria, received 3.92 million doses of the COVID-19 Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on 2nd March 2021. These vaccines represented the first tranche of about 16 million doses allocated to Nigeria through the COVAX facility, aimed at vaccinating an initial 20% of the population. More vaccines are also expected from the African Union’s Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT). During this briefing, we shall also be receiving about 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines donated by the Government of India to Nigeria. This will further boost the number of Nigerians to be vaccinated by about fifty thousand.”

“The PTF through the FMH and the NPHCDA prioritised the initial consignment of vaccines to cover frontline medical personnel, strategic leadership, and those above the age of 50 years across the nation. The majority of sub-national entities have already received their allocation and administration is progressing. As of April 5, 2021, 963,802 persons, in Nigeria, had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The overarching objective is to vaccinate 70% of Nigeria’s population between 2021 and 2022.”

“The global hope offered by the arrival of vaccines has however been threatened by the detection of variants of concern as described by the WHO (B.1.1.7; B.1.351; P.1). These variants are associated with an increase in the spread of the virus (transmissibility), and account for the third wave of infections currently occurring in Germany, France, United Kingdom, Brazil and a host of other countries. There is some evidence that existing vaccines are less effective against the variants. While research is ongoing looking at the impact of variants of concern on the global situation, Nigeria has remained very vigilant in this regard and shall continue to apply science and data to navigate this dangerous terrain.”


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