COVID-19: Again, No Deaths As Nigeria Records Lowest Cases In March
Nigeria has not recorded a fresh COVID-19 death since Saturday, data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control showed.
In an update, the disease control agency said just 86 new cases were reported on Sunday, the lowest in months.
This comes as Nigeria continues to roll-out its vaccination program across States.
The NCDC said the Sunday’s cases were recorded in six states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The FCT topped the list with 33 new cases and was followed by Lagos (28), Ondo (11), Kano (7), Akwa Ibom (3), Rivers (1) and Kaduna (1).
The latest figures bring the total number of infections in the country to 161,737.
Although, 2,030 persons have succumbed to the virus, 147,899 cases have been successfully treated and discharged.
86 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;
2,030 deaths pic.twitter.com/jW6R7iZC8L
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) March 21, 2021
Boost for Astrazeneca
Nigeria’s vaccine rollout has depended on the Astrazeneca jab, which was briefly suspended by European countries over concerns it triggered an increase in blood clotting.
However, Nigerian authorities and the WHO have dispelled such concerns, reiterating the vaccine’s safety.
On Monday, the makers of the AstraZeneca vaccine said the product is 80 per cent effective at preventing the disease in the elderly and does not increase the risk of blood clots following its US phase III efficiency trials.
It was 79 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 in the overall population and 100 per cent effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization, it added.
The US phase III trial of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University involved 32,449 participants, with two-thirds receiving the jab, the pharmaceutical firm said in a statement.
Around 20 per cent were 65 or older, and about 60 per cent had health conditions associated with a higher risk of severe Covid-19, such as diabetes, severe obesity or cardiac disease.
“These findings reconfirm previous results observed in AZD1222 trials across all adult populations but it’s exciting to see similar efficacy results in people over 65 for the first time,” said Ann Falsey, professor of medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and co-lead principal investigator for the trial.
“This analysis validates the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as a much-needed additional vaccination option, offering confidence that adults of all ages can benefit from protection against the virus.”
The trial’s independent data safety monitoring board found no increased risk of thrombosis among the 21,583 participants who received at least one dose, the statement said.
Some leading EU countries have resumed AstraZeneca vaccinations after the European Medicines Agency said Thursday the jab was “safe and effective” and was not linked to an increased risk of blood clots.
AstraZeneca said it was preparing to submit its findings to the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize the shot for emergency use.
“These results add to the growing body of evidence that shows this vaccine is well tolerated and highly effective against all severities of Covid-19 and across all age groups,” said Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals R&D.
“We are confident this vaccine can play an important role in protecting millions of people worldwide against this lethal virus.”
The results also suggested that administering the second shot more than four weeks after the first could further increase efficacy.
Previous trials have shown leaving up to 12 weeks between jabs increased its efficacy.