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COVID-19: Existing vaccines less effective against new variants — FG

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COVID-19: Existing vaccines less effective against new variants — FG

As Nigeria vaccinates 964,387 persons; Kogi receives 16,900 doses

By Sola Ogundipe, Omeiza Ajayi, Gabriel Olawale & Boluwaji Obahopo

The Federal Government has urged  Nigerians to continue to maintain all Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention measures against the COVID-19 virus, even after vaccination, noting that the COVID-19 vaccines had not proved largely effective against some new coronavirus variants.

Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Boss Mustapha, who gave the charge on Tuesday at a briefing in Abuja, however, said  Nigeria had remained vigilant and was applying science and data to navigate the dangerous terrain.

“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).

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“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”, Mustapha stated.

According to the PTF boss, Nigeria was expecting more vaccine doses from the African Union’s Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, AVATT,  he explained that Nigeria would also be receiving about 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines donated by the Government of India to vaccinate additional 50,000 Nigerians.

He said the overarching objective is to vaccinate 70 percent of Nigeria’s population between 2021 and 2022.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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