…As Nigeria receives 3.2m doses of Pfizer vaccine from the US

By Gabriel Olawale

The worst may yet be seen of the COVID-19 pandemic in the wake of the Omicron variant as new cases continue to spike worldwide according to the  World Health Organisation.

The Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that with the incredible growth of Omicron, new variants are likely to emerge.

He said the highly transmissible variant is now the dominant strain and has spread unabated around the world, pushing some governments to impose fresh measures while speeding up the rollout of vaccine booster shots.

“This pandemic is nowhere near over. Europe is at the epicentre of alarming new outbreaks, with Germany’s cases soaring past 100,000 and France reporting nearly half a million cases.

“Omicron may be less severe, on average, but the narrative that it is a mild disease is misleading,” Tedros said.

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After Omicron, expect more COVID-19 variants, experts warn

“I remain particularly concerned about many countries that have low vaccination rates, as people are many times more at risk of severe illness and death if they’re unvaccinated”, Tedros said.

Among his worries is the fact that the virus is circulating far too intensely with many persons still vulnerable, and that, for many countries, the next few weeks remain critical.

The WHO chief also expressed concern that the world will enter “a second and even more destructive phase of vaccine inequity”, if it doesn’t change the current course that is dominated by vaccine inequity.

Nigeria receives 3.2m doses of Pfizer vaccine from the US

Nigeria has received 3.2 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States as authorities step up efforts to curb the spread of the disease in the country.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, led the team that took delivery of the vaccines presented by the U.S. Ambassador, Beth Leonard, on Tuesday at the National Strategic Warehouse in Abuja.

A statement from the US Mission Nigeria noted that: “These vaccines have over six months of validity before expiration and are being stored at the National Strategic Warehouse for distribution to thousands of COVID-19 vaccination sites nationwide.

“During the visit, Ambassador Leonard inspected the vaccine doses and discussed how the agency is maintaining proper ultra-cold storage, as safe and effective vaccines are our best tool to ending the pandemic.

“The latest shipment reflects the United States’ commitment to purchase and donate 1.2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide. To date, the United States has delivered more than 370 million vaccine doses to over 110 countries. This includes the over 24.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Nigerian people.”

The US has so far donated 15.58 million doses of Pfizer vaccine to Nigeria.

It was gathered that all Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the US to Nigeria have had an expiration deadline of at least six months or more upon receipt to ensure adequate time for use.

Nigeria vaccinates 13.1m

In its vaccination update for  18 January in 36 States and the FCT, the NPHCDA reported that 13,163,729 (10.3 percent) of total eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination have been reached with the 1st dose while 5,076,453 of total eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination have reached with the 2nd dose (fully vaccinated).

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