Health and Safety Politics

FG open to development, distribution of COVID-19 vaccine—Osinbajo

Osinbajo presides over 4th virtual NEC meeting
Written by Maritime First

…As NCDC’s 457 new COVID-19 cases, shoot total to 44,890***

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has highlighted Federal Government intention to examine every possible option, in the development and distribution of a vaccine, against the COVID-19 disease.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the vice president stated this at a virtual meeting with representatives of Pfizer and Biotech pharmaceutical firms.

Pfizer and Biotech are the international pharmaceutical firms promoting the BNT162 vaccine candidate.

The meeting was attended by Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire, and the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, with representatives of Pfizer and Biotech.

According to Osinbajo, the interaction between the Federal Government and the promoters of the vaccine candidate is an important conversation.

“It is important for us that we are prioritised as the largest country in Africa in the distribution of the best COVID-19 vaccine when it is eventually ready.

“Our priority is the health of the Nigerian citizens; we continue to engage and intend to look at every possible option from all manufacturers of a good vaccine.

“We want to do the very best for our people in this regard,” he said.

The vice president asked several questions about the COVID-19 vaccine candidate including how quickly Nigeria could get the vaccine once it was safely ready.

Responding, Mr Subair Olayinka, the Pfizer Country Manager and Representative in Africa, who spoke for the promoters, said that Nigeria would be a priority for the vaccine supply to Africa.

He said that although the vaccine trials were not going on in Nigeria at present, the trials were ongoing in parts of the African continent.

Olayinka said that the trials would be entering the third phase having concluded the first two phases successfully.

On his part, Ehanire said that the Federal Government would consider quality, appropriate volume and how well and quick a vaccine could be delivered to Nigeria in deciding which manufacturer to make the supply.

In the meantime, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded  457 new cases of the COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 44,890.

The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Wednesday, adding that 17 more people also died from the disease.

Also read:  COVID-19 wanes, as Nigeria’s 304 new cases, jump total to 44,433, deaths 910

The NCDC said that the 457 new infections were recorded in Lagos, FCT and 19 other states of the federation.

It stated that Lagos topped the list with 137 cases while FCT came second with 76 fresh infections.

”Five other states with high cases include Plateau – 40, Rivers – 35, Enugu – 34, Oyo – 25 and Abia – 23.

”Others are Delta – 12, Edo and Ebonyi – 11, Cross River and Kwara – 10, Kaduna – 9, Anambra – 7, Ogun – 5, Imo and Bauchi – 3, Osun and Nasarawa – 2, Kano and Ekiti – 1, ” it said.

The health agency further said that 314 people had been discharged in the last 24 hours after recovering from the virus, bringing the total number of discharged cases to 32,165.

It said that till date, 44,890 cases had been confirmed, 32,165 cases discharged and 927 deaths recorded in 36 states and the FCT.

The NCDC noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, would continue to coordinate the national response activities across the country.

The health agency further said that home care for COVID-19 patients who were asymptomatic or have mild symptoms must be based on the recommendation of a clinician and not on self-assessment.

“It is recommended that clinicians recommend the use of designated treatment areas, according to severity and acute care needs, to care for confirmed COVID -19 patients.

”Home care should only be recommended in patients after an appropriate risk assessment has been done and following appropriate counselling and patient information,” it stated.

The NCDC said that patients could be recommended for home care if hospitalisation was not feasible.

It noted that clinicians should consider home care for such patients with no symptoms, mild symptoms or for those without concern for rapid deterioration as determined by a managing physician.

“Home care may also be considered when in-patient care is unavailable or unsafe (e.g. capacity is limited, and resources are unable to meet the demand for health care services).

“Contacts should be advised to monitor their health for 14 days from the last possible day of contact.

“Health care personnel should review the health of contacts by phone, and in-person if feasible. Provide instructions to contacts on what to do if they become ill.

“If home care is provided, ensure follow-up and care by a family member; If and where feasible, a communication link between the patient and health care provider and/or public health personnel should be established,” it said.

The NCDC also said that clinical judgment should be used and informed by an assessment of the patient’s home and environment by a trained health care worker, if and where feasible.

“Educate patients and household members about personal hygiene, infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, and how to care for the patient,” it said.

The health agency added that patients in-home care should remain isolated and in limited contact with people, including household members, until all symptoms had been resolved while patients had repeated the negative tests and/or a healthcare worker had cleared the patient.

“Stay in a well-ventilated single room; limit movement in the house or minimise shared space.

”Ensure shared spaces are well ventilated; follow cleaning and disinfecting guidance at home and limit the number of caregivers.

”Seek care urgently if there is a change in your condition,” NCDC said.


About the author

Maritime First