The coming of COVID-19 vaccine

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, recently said that the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered on Nigerians free when vaccination begins.

Through the GAVI arrangement, there is the assurance that over 40 million Nigerians would be vaccinated.

GAVI is a vaccine alliance which fought to find solution to the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccine, and they came up with COVAX which is one of the three pillars of Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) accelerator.It was launched in April 2020 by the World Health Organisation WHO, the European Commission and France under the canopy of governments, manufacturers, scientists, the private sector, philanthropy and the civil society.

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has so recorded 84,114 cases of COVID-19 and 1,254 fatalities since the pandemic began.Meanwhile two scientists – Christian Happi, a professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics, and Ify Aniebo of the African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases, Redeemer’s University in Ede, Osun State, reported that their collection of
samples from Osun state in August and October 2020 showed the presence of the new deadly variant of the corona virus.

These two scientists had reportedly carried out studies that discovered the UK’s “lineage B.l.l.7 mutant variant of the COVID-19 virus. WHO said that “the initial analysis indicates that the variant may spread more readily between people…”

It is against this background that the National for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it will give accelerated approval for COVID-19 vaccines once they arrive in Nigeria as the vaccines had been approved by reliable bodies like the United State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). We hope the officials of NAFDAC are aware of the devastating transient side effects of a shot of COVID-19 vaccine on those who have so far received them in Europe and the United States. In the vernacular of vaccinology, vaccines that trigger a range of transient side effects in a lot of recipients are known as reactogenic.

A head nurse, Tiffany Dover, at a Chattanooga Hospital in Tennessee caused a scare as she reportedly fainted at a press conference after receiving the Pfizer-Biotech COVID-19 Vaccine shot. Dr. Hossein Sadzadeh, a geriatric oncologist at Boston Medical Centre, equally became dizzy and felt his heart racing minutes after receiving the moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. He reported that his tongue became numb, his blood pressure plummeted and he broke into a cold sweat. “I don’t want anybody to go through that” he said. This is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, in the United States issued a uidancee advising those who are allergic to vaccines or injectable herapiess should consult their doctors before getting vaccinated. Some scientists are in fact worried that regulators around the world, under pressure to find solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, might have been forced to release an unproven or unsafe vaccines.

Experts have been specially concerned about Astra Zeneca’s vaccine trials, which began in April 2020 in Britain. This is because the company refused to provide details about neurological illnesses in two participants who received its experimental vaccines in Britain. Those cases forced the company to halt its trials twice. Studies about the vaccine have resumed in Britain, India and South Africa. About 18,000 people worldwide have received Astra Zeneca’s vaccines so far.

In the United States, Pfizer – which has a major research facility in Groton – Moderna and Astra Zeneca lead the global race to develop a COVID-19 Vaccine.

All have received taxpayer money. While other adenovirus-based products have seen some success in the past, they have also been linked to serious adverse events. If a serious side effect was definitely linked to Astra Zeneca’s vaccines, scientists would need to determine if its root cause stemmed from the adenovirus vector, or perhaps the corona virus genes it carried – connections that could raise concerns about other companies’ products that rely on the same components.

Seeking a competitive edge, drug companies zealously withhold details of clinical trials until they are completed. But Yale Cardiologist, Harlan Krumholz and many like – minded scientists say that veil of secrecy should be dropped, especially when it comes to totals of the COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and seven other pharmaceutical companies working on a COVID-19 vaccine recently signed a pledge vowing to test potential vaccines for COVID-19 “in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles”. Krumholz hinkss that’s great, but said “words are not enough”.

While the Natlonal Coordlnator of PTF enthusiastically looks forward to receiving the Covid-19 vaccines and administering them free of charge, the minister of state for health, Olurunimbe Mamora, said NAFDAC, would check and approve any vaccines that would be administered in Nigeria. We also say great, but “words are not enough”.

Mbah ritess from Lagos

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