Djokovic: Australia ‘Humiliated Themselves’ With Court Ruling, Says Serbian President

File photo: Novak Djokovic of Serbia attends a practice session ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 14, 2022. MARTIN KEEP / AFP

 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic lashed out at Australian authorities Sunday morning, hours after a federal court paved the way for the deportation of Novak Djokovic on the eve of the Australian Open over his vaccine status. 

“They think that they have by this, this mistreatment of ten days humiliated Djokovic, but they have humiliated themselves. Djokovic can return to his country with his head held high,” Vucic told a state media outlet.

Vucic has remained steadfast in his support for Djokovic throughout the drama, calling the earlier detention of the unvaccinated tennis star a “political witch hunt”.

“I spoke earlier to Novak Djokovic after the decision and I encouraged him. We look forward to seeing him return to his country, where he is always welcome,” the president added.

READ ALSO[Djokovic] Australian Open More Important Than Any Player, Says Nadal

Earlier in Australia, Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” by the federal court’s ruling that upheld the government’s right to rip up his visa over fears he is stoking anti-vaccine sentiment and dashed his dream of a record 21st Grand Slam

In Serbia, the ruling stoked outrage among Djokovic’s fans.

“It’s a farce … All this has nothing to do with the sport,” Nebojsa Viskovic, a journalist covering notably tennis, told AFP.

“All the criticism about whether he was vaccinated or not doesn’t hold water.”

Many other Serbs echoed the view.

“The decision is not a surprise but is still shameful,” said Jadranka Misic, a 29-year-old sociologist from Belgrade.

For tennis fan Milovan Jankovic, Australia and the tournament itself had secured little more than a Pyrrhic victory.

“It’s going to be ridiculous to hold the tournament without the defending champion and nine-time winner.

“If I were Djokovic I would never set foot in Australia again,” the 57-year-old salesman added.

An “extremely disappointed” Djokovic said he would comply with the unanimous ruling.

AFP

Nigeria Confirms Highest-Ever Daily COVID-19 Cases

In this file photo, a health worker holds a vaccine tube and a syringe as Nigeria commenced the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination on August 16, 2021. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Nigeria on Wednesday reported 4,035 COVID-19 cases, the highest-ever daily infection tally since the disease was detected in the country nearly two years ago.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this in its daily update about the pandemic in the country.

A breakdown of the new infections showed that they were confirmed in 15 states in the country with Lagos State having 3,393 more cases.

The NCDC data also indicated that new cases were reported as followed: Rivers – 260;  Edo – 62; Akwa Ibom – 42; Kaduna – 39;  Ekiti – 38; Oyo – 38; Delta – 31; and Kano – 31.

Ogun – 30; Abia – 26;  Bauchi – 15; Ondo – 14; Enugu – 9 and Kwara – 7 are the other states with additional COVID-19 infections.

With the new figures, Nigeria’s COVID-19 infections now stand at 231,413 out of which 211,853 have been successfully treated and discharged.

The flipside, however, indicates that 2,991 people have died from COVID-19 complications.


RELATED

Nigeria Records Highest Daily COVID-19 Infections In 11 Months

Nigeria Destroys Over 1 Million Expired COVID-19 Vaccines

Omicron Variant Spreading Faster Than Delta Strain – WHO

Full Booster Dose Improves Omicron Protection, Says Moderna


Vaccines Destroyed

 

vaccines-destroyed
NAFDAC says the destruction of the vaccines followed several testing processes.

 

Wednesday’s update from the NCDC further confirms warnings by the agency and Nigerian authorities over the new Omicron variant.

On Tuesday, the country reported its highest daily infections in 11 months – 2,123, just a few days after authorities confirmed that Nigeria is in the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Pushed by the quest to curb the increasing number of infections, the NCDC had called for caution during the festive period.

“Critically, Nigerians are urged to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year,” it said in a statement earlier in the week.

While the infection rate continues to spike, calls for mass vaccination have also gathered steam.

Several states across the country have flagged off mass vaccination campaigns, Oyo State being one of the latest to join the move.

But on Tuesday, Nigeria destroyed one million, sixty-six thousand, two hundred and fourteen (1,066,214) doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, raising concerns over the COVID-19 vaccination drive.

The vaccines, according to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), were part of the 2,594,100 doses received on the 11th and 29th October of 2021.

One million, five hundred and twenty-seven thousand, eight hundred and Eighty-six of the vaccines (1,527,886) were utilised, they added.

The batches of the vaccine destroyed got expired in November.  They were destroyed at the Gosa Dumping site, about 2Km from the Idu Railway Station in Abuja.

U.S. Businesses Face Jan 4 Deadline To Get Workers Vaccinated

File photo of health worker preparing to inoculate a person with a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
PHOTO: Narinder NANU / AFP

 

Strict rules intended to push tens of millions of American workers into receiving vaccines against Covid-19 will come into effect on January 4 of next year, President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Thursday.

The mandates targeting businesses with more than 100 employees as well as health care workers and federal contractors represent the most aggressive steps Washington has taken thus far against the virus and its Delta variant, which has hobbled the country’s economic recovery in recent months.

“The single consistent deadline across all three requirements is January 4, 2022,” when any employee covered by the requirement must either receive their final vaccination dose or submit to at least weekly Covid-19 testing, a senior administration official said.

READ ALSO: Peru Minister Resigns After Holding Party That Breached COVID-19 Rules

Biden announced the mandate in September amid growing concern over the country’s flagging vaccination rate, leaving federal agencies to finalize the rules that have already attracted criticism from the Republican opposition and some industry groups.

The regulations will affect more than two-thirds of the country’s workforce, the senior administration official said, and join mandates announced by major employers in the country as well as some states.

“The bottom line is vaccination requirements work,” the official said, predicting the rules would “lead (to) millions of Americans getting vaccinated, protecting workers, saving lives, strengthening our economy and helping to accelerate our path out of this pandemic.”

 

– ‘Turning point’ –

The world’s largest Covid-19 outbreak is among the stones that have weighed down Biden’s presidency in recent months.

His Democratic party suffered a humiliating defeat in Virginia’s governorship election this week, while lawmakers in Congress have yet to reach an agreement on two spending bills Biden has put at the center of his policies.

Economic growth soared and millions went back to work after Biden took office in January just as Covid-19 vaccines became widely available, but third-quarter growth slumped and September’s hiring was the weakest of the year as the Delta wave sent infections soaring and made businesses cautious.

The president on Tuesday hailed a Food and Drug Administration decision to allow people aged 5-11 to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as a “turning point” that will affect up to 28 million children.

Convincing reluctant adults to get a widely available vaccine is another matter. While some businesses including major air carriers have imposed their own vaccine requirements, the Republican House lawmakers compared the mandate to a “dictatorship.”

The governor of Texas went as far as to put a ban on Covid-19 vaccine mandates for any entities in the state, including private companies.

The Society for Human Resource Management released a poll last month saying 90 percent of employers surveyed would find it difficult to implement the mandate, and asked the government to seek public comment before imposing the rules.

Elumelu, Kidjo, Davido, Others Call On World Leaders To Donate Pledged COVID-19 Vaccines

Nigerian entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu; Beninese singer-songwriter, Angelique Kidjo; Nigerian Afrobeat musician, Femi Kuti; and pop star, David Adeleke a.k.a Davido, were among 48 UNICEF Africa ambassadors and supporters who recently signed a letter to world leaders to honour their promises to urgently deliver doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to Africa.

 

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, some prominent Africans have joined their voices to calls for more vaccines for the continent.

Nigerian entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu; Beninese singer and songwriter, Angelique Kidjo; and Nigerian pop star, David Adeleke a.k.a Davido, were among 48 UNICEF Africa ambassadors and supporters who recently signed a letter to leaders of more wealthy countries to honour their promises to urgently deliver excess doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“The letter’s signatories, including Angelique Kidjo, Arlo Parks, Davido, Tendai Mtawarira, Femi Kuti, Tony Elumelu, Ramla Ali, Winnie Byanyima and others, are calling on leaders to donate the pledged vaccines by December, along with the necessary resources to turn the vaccines into vaccinations,” a statement by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Wednesday.

According to the agency, wealthy countries with more supplies than they need had generously pledged to donate those doses to low and middle-income countries via COVAX but the promised doses are moving too slowly.

Read Also: [COVID-19] G20 Countries Have Received 15 Times More Vaccine Doses Than African Countries – UNICEF

“Of the 1.3 billion additional doses countries have pledged to donate, only 356 million doses have been provided to COVAX,” UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore said, adding that “African countries, in particular, have largely been left without access to COVID-19 vaccines”.

“Less than five per cent of the African population are fully vaccinated, leaving many countries at high-risk of further outbreaks.

“Vaccine inequity is not just holding the poorest countries back – it is holding the world back,” Fore added.

The agency is, however, optimistic that the plea from some of its ambassadors could go a long way.

“As leaders prepare to meet for the G20 Summit in Rome this weekend, 48 UNICEF Africa ambassadors and supporters from across the continent have united in an open letter. They are calling for leaders to honour their promises to urgently deliver doses, writing that ‘the stakes could not be higher,’ the statement read in part.

US To Donate Extra 500 Million COVID-19 Vaccines, Says Biden

US President Joe Biden convenes a virtual Covid-19 Summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, on September 22, 2021, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House in Washington, DC. – Biden urged leaders at summit to make sure 70 percent of their populations are covered by next September. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

 

President Joe Biden opened a Covid-19 summit of world leaders Wednesday with a promise to donate a “historic” extra 500 million vaccines to countries struggling to push back against the pandemic.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck crisis,” Biden said. “America will become the arsenal for vaccines as we were the arsenal for democracy in World War II.”

The pledge from Biden at the summit, held virtually from the White House, brings the total US commitment of donated vaccines to 1.1 billion — more than the rest of the world combined.

“The US has already shipped 160 million of these doses to 100 countries,” the White House said in a statement. “For every one shot we’ve put in an American arm to date, we are now donating three shots globally.”

The new tranche of half a billion vaccines will be from Pfizer and aimed at poorer countries.

Biden was also due to challenge world leaders to vaccinate 70 percent of every country by September 2022, the White House said.

In his opening remarks, he stressed that the surge of vaccines must only be donated, with no “political” strings attached — a veiled dig at China in particular.

The United States and other wealthy countries have been criticized by the World Health Organization for their plans to roll out booster shots for elderly and high-risk populations, while much of the world faces a severe shortage in doses.

But a senior US administration official told reporters that Washington is “proving that you can take care of your own, while helping others as well.”

On Tuesday, in his first speech to the UN as president, Biden told delegates that the United States had put more than $15 billion towards the global Covid response and shipped more than 160 million doses to other countries.

– 70 percent target –

Despite the development of safe and highly effective vaccines in record-breaking time, huge disparities exist between countries with ample supply and others that have barely begun their immunization campaign.

Just 3.6 percent of Africa’s eligible population has been inoculated — compared with an average of more than 60 percent in Western Europe.

The summit — technically held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly — saw Biden and US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield hosting a wide variety of health and foreign leaders.

They included UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the heads of Britain, Canada, the European Union, Indonesia, and South Africa.

Washington will seek to rally the world around three goals, the administration official said.

These are: increasing vaccine supply; saving lives now by resolving the oxygen crisis and access to testing, medicine and therapeutics; and lastly improving future preparedness.

On vaccines, Biden will set an “ambitious target, which will require all countries to step up, so that every country, including low income and low middle income countries can achieve 70 percent vaccination before” next year’s UN General Assembly, the official said.

While the latest global coronavirus wave peaked in late August, the virus continues to spread rapidly, particularly in the United States, which is officially the worst-hit country.

Some 4.7 million have died since the outbreak began in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources.

AFP

Buhari Meets WTO DG, Okonjo-Iweala On Production Of Vaccine

President Buhari at a meeting with Dr Okonjo-Iweala and Mr Onyeama at a meeting in New York, the United States.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has met with the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, ahead of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The discussions between the duo centred on getting manufacturers of vaccines to invest in production in Nigeria, and Africa at large and help economies recover faster.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who accompanied him to the United States alongside other appointees, spoke about the speech to be delivered by President Buhari while addressing world leaders on Friday.

“Mr President is going to be addressing the world,” he said. “So, what we will see from this is Nigeria’s vision, Mr president’s global vision on key issues of priority like development, climate change, security, women empowerment, good governance, anti-corruption, illicit financial flows, and restitution.”

While Nigeria hopes for a great outing as the general debates begin on Tuesday, President Buhari has been engaging top government officials in strategic meetings.

Meanwhile, Channels Television correspondent reported that a protest erupted in Manhattan, close to the United Nations Headquarters where the session is taking place.

President Buhari at a meeting with Dr Okonjo-Iweala in New York, the United States.

 

Two groups of Nigerians in diaspora bore their minds on the state of the nation, both having opposing views about the unity of the country.

Although protests such as this have been reported at conferences like this in the past, what seems to resonate for the two parties is tackling the nation’s challenges and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the coming years.

The theme for this year’s UNGA is, ‘Building Resilience Through Hope – To Recover from COVID-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to the Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People and Revitalise the United Nations’.

While in the U.S., the President and members of the delegation will partake in other events such as the high-level meeting to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, themed ‘Reparations, Racial Justice, and Equality for People of African Descent’.

He is expected back in the country on September 26.

India To Resume COVID-19 Vaccine Export In October – Minister

A health worker prepares a dose to inoculate a woman with the Covaxin Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at a school-turned-vaccination centre in New Delhi on May 5, 2021. Tauseef MUSTAFA / AFP

 

India will resume exporting Covid-19 vaccines from October, five months after it stopped sending supplies abroad in the face of a deadly wave of infections, the health minister said Monday.

The South Asian giant, dubbed the “pharmacy of the world”, was a major supplier to the Covax programme aimed at ensuring poor countries can access doses.

Exports stopped in April, according to foreign ministry data, when a virus surge in India pushed the healthcare system to breaking point and there was a huge demand for jabs.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said more than 300 million vaccine doses would be produced in October and one billion in the last three months of the year.

“India will be resuming export of vaccines… in order to fulfill the commitment of India towards Covax,” Mandaviya said in a statement.

“The surplus supply of vaccines will be used to fulfill our commitment towards the world for the collective fight against Covid-19.”

Covax is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, with UNICEF using its vaccine logistics expertise to handle the delivery flights.

Under Covax, the 92 poorest countries can access jabs for free, with donors covering the cost.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) plant, producing AstraZeneca doses, was supposed to be the early backbone of Covax’s supply chain.

A Gavi spokesman welcomed the news from New Delhi.

“This could have an immense positive impact on both health security within India as well as globally,” he told AFP.

“Our priority right now is to engage with the government of India and the SII to understand the impact this will have on our supply schedule, as we race to protect as many vulnerable people as we can from Covid-19.”

Some 5.9 billion coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered around the world, according to an AFP count.

So far, Covax has shipped 286 million doses — far below where it wanted to be at this stage — to 141 participating economies.

In a tweet, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged world leaders to “guarantee vaccine equity and equitable access to other Covid-19 tools”.

Launched in January, India’s vaccination campaign was slow to take off because of shortages and hesitancy among the population.

But the pace has picked up in recent weeks, with authorities currently administering between five to eight million coronavirus shots every day.

The country hit a record 22 million coronavirus jabs in a day on Friday as part of a special vaccination drive for the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

AFP

Los Angeles To Make COVID-19 Vaccines Compulsory For Schoolkids

File photo: A healthcare worker fills a syringe with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a community vaccination event in a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, August 11, 2021. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

 

Covid-19 vaccines are expected to be made compulsory Thursday for Los Angeles schoolchildren aged 12 and over, the first such requirement by a major education board in the United States.

The vote by the Los Angeles Unified School District — the second biggest in the country — comes as the nation grapples with surging coronavirus numbers, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

It also comes as President Joe Biden is set to unveil vaccine mandates for federal employees, as part of a plan to wrestle the Covid caseload under control.

Around 600,000 students attend a public school managed by LAUSD, and the expected passage of the motion at Thursday’s meeting could set a precedent for school boards across the country.

The district already mandates regular testing for children, and masks are required on campus, both indoors and out. Staff must be vaccinated.

Under the proposal, all children attending in-person classes would need to have their first dose by November 21, and their second by December 19.

A child who turns 12 will have 30 days to get their first shot.

The plan has the support of teachers’ unions and many parents, but — as elsewhere in the United States — a significant and vocal minority is strongly opposed to vaccines, despite overwhelming scientific evidence that they are safe and effective.

READ ALSO: France Grants Citizenship To 12,000 Foreign COVID-19 Frontline Workers

Local health officials say around 58 percent of those aged between 12 and 18 have had at least one shot.

The motion, which is expected to pass, says action is required to stem the rising number of infections among schoolchildren, which has threatened to derail a so-far successful return to classrooms after a lengthy hiatus last year.

Covid-19 “is a material threat to the health and safety of all students within the LAUSD community, and is a further threat to the successful return to continuous in-person instruction,” it says.

Vaccines, masks and other mitigation measures against Covid-19 have become deeply political issues in the United States.

Republican-led states and counties, citing personal freedoms, have resisted imposing rules that doctors say would protect their populations.

A free and widely available vaccine program is credited with taming earlier surges in the coronavirus, a disease that has claimed more than 650,000 lives and sickened millions more in the United States.

But Delta’s emergence has threatened to reverse progress, and case numbers have risen nationwide in recent months, concentrated in places where vaccine take-up is low.

AFP

COVID-19 Vaccines: Next Step Of Response Will Depend On Health Workers – Ihekweazu

File photo of NCDC Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu during a meeting with Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma in Owerri on April 18, 2020.

 

The next step in Nigeria’s COVID-19 response will be dependent on health workers, says the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.

Nigeria commenced its second phase of vaccination on Monday, and within the coming weeks, is expected to roll out over four million doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony which was held at the Federal Medical Centre in Jabi, Abuja, Dr Ihekweazu said healthcare workers are the ones who will play the next pertinent role in the nation’s response to the disease.

He said, “the next step of this will depend on healthcare workers, the distribution; and making the vaccines available to the last mile will depend on an incredible group of Nigerians that have been working hard for the last 18 months to deliver vaccines, test people, do contact tracing and treat individuals”.

While disclosing that the country’s treatment centres are filling up again, the NCDC boss said health officials are working tirelessly to beat the pandemic.

The NCDC boss commended the frontline officials for their efforts and urged them not to rest on their oars.

He also called on Nigerians to keep supporting health personnel as they deliver the vaccines nationwide. He asked the citizens to act responsibly as the second phase of the vaccination begins.

READ ALSO: Fiji Mandates COVID-19 Vaccines For Civil Servants

READ ALSO: Nigeria Kicks Off Phase Two Of Covid Vaccination

Phase II Begins

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, and others watch as a man takes the COVID-19 vaccine on August 16, 2021. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The second phase of the vaccination programme commenced days after the US donated over four million doses of the Moderna vaccine.

The flag-off ceremony was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha

Others were the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora; and the Medical Director of the FMC, Professor Aliyu Ahmed.

The exercise was scheduled for August 10 but later postponed due to “purely administrative” reasons, according to Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed.

Apart from the over four million Moderna doses, the government has also taken delivery of 177,600 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The single-shot J&J vaccine was acquired through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) with support from Afrexim bank.

The J&J vaccines are expected to be deployed in hard-to-reach areas, to eliminate the need for travel for a second dose.

Only about one percent of Nigeria’s population has been fully vaccinated, so far.

NYC Orders COVID-19 Vaccines Or Weekly Tests For All Public Workers

File Photo: Carl Court / POOL / AFP

 

New York City will require all municipal workers to get vaccinated against coronavirus or take a weekly test, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday as the Delta variant fuels an uptick in cases in the metropolis.

The order will go into effect from September 13 and will apply to more than 300,000 city personnel, including police officers, fire fighters and teachers.

“This is about our recovery. This is about keeping people safe,” de Blasio told a press conference.

The move comes after the mayor announced last week that the city’s 30,000 public hospital workers would need to get vaccinated or face weekly testing from August 2.

The measure announced Monday is the most stringent measure taken so far in the US megacity to boost vaccination rates following a campaign based on voluntary participation and incentives.

In New York, 59 percent of the entire population has received at least one dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 but the speed of injections has slowed.

Controversy is building in the United States over what steps should be taken to increase vaccination rates against the Delta variant, which accounts for more than 89 percent of US infections, according to estimates.

READ ALSO: World Bank To Finance Extra COVID-19 Jabs For Poorer Nations

Many health officials are pushing to make vaccination mandatory, at least for certain segments of the population.

On Monday, 57 medical groups representing millions of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health workers called for mandatory vaccinations for all health staff.

“The health and safety of US workers, families, communities, and the nation depends on it,” said the statement, whose signatories included the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association.

Several Republican-led states have instead passed laws banning coercive measures, though, particularly in schools.

The September 13 date will coincide with the return of one million students to New York’s public schools for the new academic year.

AFP

 

Taraba Receives 56,250 Doses Of AstraZeneca Vaccines

Officials in Taraba receive the AstraZeneca vaccines on behalf of the state government on March 11, 2021.

 

The Taraba State government has taken delivery of its first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for onward vaccination of its residents through the Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA).

A total of 56,250 doses of the vaccines were sent to the state via the Yola International Airport in the north-eastern part of the country.

The Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Health, Dr Ebenezer Apake, received the vaccines on behalf of the state government on Thursday.

He noted that at least 80 per cent of the state’s population needed to be vaccinated in order to be protected against the pandemic.

“These vaccines, even though developed in record time, should be effective in reducing the severity of cases,” said Apake who urged residents to avail themselves for vaccination.

Despite receiving the vaccines, he said the state government would not in any way lower its guard on adherence to the safety protocols of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

The agency saddled with the responsibility of vaccination – PHCDA – said it has trained a total of 254 staff to carry out the exercise, as well as sensitised residents on what the vaccine was about.

Its Executive Secretary, Aminu Jauro, noted that they have intensified their efforts in curbing the spread of the disease across the 168 wards of the state.

He disabused the minds of residents on the insinuations that the vaccine was allergic, saying frontline health workers would receive the first jab in Taraba.

“To allay the fears of residents towards the uptake of the vaccines, we have carried out sensitisation workshops with all stakeholders – which is very key,” Jauro said.

In his remarks, the coordinator of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Taraba, Farouk Umar, said they would provide the needed technical support to the state health sector.

“We are part of the planning for the coming of the vaccines to administration for proper following of the right protocol,” he said.

The arrival of the Oxford Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines in Jalingo is seen as a sign of hope in the midst of despair in view of the rising number of cases in the state.

Since the beginning of the outbreak in Nigeria, Taraba has recorded 881 infections, out of which 55 patients are on admission and 22 deaths.

Lagos Govt Receives COVID-19 Vaccines

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Oreoluwa Finnih, shared a photo of the delivery of the vaccines on Twitter.

 

The Lagos State government has received doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the Federal Government.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Tuesday at an event held at Police College in Ikeja, but he did not reveal the figure of vaccine doses delivered to the state.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day.

In his remarks, Governor Sanwo-Olu revealed that the state government received the vaccines at about 4am on Tuesday, noting that they have been kept in a safe place.

He assured the people of the state that the government would soon commence the vaccination exercise.

The governor stated that this would be carried out in line with the scheduled guidelines laid down by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He, therefore, appealed to the residents to continue to keep to all the COVID-19 protocols such as wearing of facemasks, washing and sanitising their hands, as well as observing social distancing.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health, Oreoluwa Finnih, shared a photo and a video of the delivery of the vaccines on Twitter.

 

Nigeria took delivery of about four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines last week, as part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to the country in batches over the next few months.

The vaccines were provided by COVAX, in an unprecedented global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

On Saturday last week, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, received their first shots of the vaccines.

Both leaders took the vaccine jabs publicly at the State House in Abuja, in the presence of some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).