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CORONA VIRUS

Kenya, Rwanda Receive First Batch of Covid -19 Vaccine

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Kenya and Rwanda have received their first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines trough the COVAX initiative. The package was delivered by Qatar Airways to both countries.

According to details from Kenya, 1.02 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi on Tuesday night. The vaccines arrived on Qatar Airways flight QR1341.

On March 3rd, Kigali also received its package of 240,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

According to Rwanda government, a vaccination plan scheduled for rollout on Friday will see target risk groups across the country receive their first of two vaccine doses.

“The target is to vaccinate 30% of the population by the end of 2021, and 60% by the end of 2022,” the government said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Uganda government said, it is scheduled to receive its first Covid-19 vaccine consignment on Friday and will start vaccinating people against  Covid-19  next Wednesday on the 10th March.

Uganda’s first batch of the COVID-19 jabs will comprise of 864,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda’s Health minister said, “all persons eligible for vaccination will be required to provide a National ID in the case of Ugandan citizens or a passport in the case of non-Ugandans.”

For Tanzania, vaccination against covid-19 remains a controversial issue because the government considers these jabs unsafe.

“We are not yet satisfied that those vaccines have been clinically proven safe”, Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima said last month.

Gwajima and the health officials drank a herbal concoction including ginger, garlic, and lemons, and inhaled steam from herbs, promoting them as natural means of killing the virus. 

“You should stand firm. Vaccinations are dangerous. If the White man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for AIDS by now; he would have found a vaccination [for] tuberculosis by now; he would have found a vaccination for malaria by now; he would have found a vaccination for cancer by now”, President John Magufuli said at the end of January, 2021.

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CORONA VIRUS

Rwanda Takes Covid Vaccination To Bus Terminals, Schools

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In Rwanda the vaccination team is most likely to find you wherever you are as the country pushes harder to hit the 93% rate.

“Two weeks ago we struggled to cross 93% Covid-19 vaccination rate among 18 years old and above in Kigali!,” says Dr. Daniel Ngamije the Minister of Health.

According to Dr. Daniel Ngamije the Vaccination steering committee has decided a catch-up plan strategy! “Meet clients near Bus stations in Kigali,”he said on Thursday.

long queues at bus terminals were seen on Thursday as travelers and busy city dwellers waited to get the Covid vaccination jab.

“People are attending in big numbers ,i just passed near Kimironko bus station and the crowd was huge, much respect to our government  for doing such incredible work,” said JP via twitter.

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CORONA VIRUS

Pfizer Accused Of Bullying Governments Worldwide In COVID-19 Vaccine Contracts

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U.S. multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation, Pfizer, has been bullying governments around the world in COVID-19 vaccine contracts, said a recent report.

“The contracts offer a rare glimpse into the power one pharmaceutical corporation has gained to silence governments, throttle supply, shift risk and maximize profits in the worst public health crisis in a century,” said the report published in late October by Washington-based non-profit, progressive consumer rights advocacy group and think tank Public Citizen.

Citing six examples, the report pointed out that Pfizer not only reserves the right to silence governments, tightly controls vaccine donations, and uses anyone’s intellectual property it pleases largely without consequence, but also bypasses domestic legal processes by empowering private arbitrators to decide disputes in secret, enables itself to go after state assets, and enjoys unilateral authority for key decisions.

“Pfizer’s dominance over sovereign countries poses fundamental challenges to the pandemic response,” the report noted, adding the corporation’s demands have been slowing purchase agreements and even pushing back the delivery schedule of vaccines.

“Public health should come first,” it said, urging governments worldwide to push back.

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CORONA VIRUS

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Antibody Cocktail 80% Effective

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AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 antibody cocktail was more than 80% successful at both preventing symptomatic disease and stopping the virus from worsening, trials show.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca says a groundbreaking Covid antibody shot for people who do not respond well to vaccines is more than 80% effective over six months.

The injected therapy, called AZD7442 or Evusheld, was found to provide 83 per cent protection, the company said in a statement.

It is hoped the treatment can provide protection to people who vaccines are less likely to be effective for – around two per cent of the world’s population.

The encouraging results were found despite the surge in the Delta variant during trials, researchers said.

These include those this blood cancers, patients on dialysis, and those on immunosuppressive drugs for conditions including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

In a statement released this morning, the drug company said there had been no cases or serious illness among people given the drug in a six-month trial.

The Anglo-Swedish company also said a separate study in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 showed a higher dose of AZD7442 cut the risk of symptoms worsening by 88 per cent when given within three days of first symptoms.

More than three quarters of people who took part in the company’s PROVENT trial were at high risk from Covid-19.

There were no cases of severe illness or death from Coronavirus among people given the drug, although in the placebo arm – people who were instead given a harmless saline injection – there were five severe cases and two Covid deaths.

A total of 5,197 people in the US, UK, Spain, France and Belgium took part in the trial, with two thirds given the antibody treatment.

Hugh Montgomery, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London, UK and AZD7442 principal investigator, said: “These compelling results give me confidence that this long-acting antibody combination can provide my vulnerable patients with the long-lasting protection they urgently need to finally return to their everyday lives.

“Importantly, six months of protection was maintained despite the surge of the Delta variant among these high-risk participants who may not respond adequately to vaccination.”

“These new data add to the growing body of evidence supporting AZD7442’s potential to make a significant difference in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19,” Executive Vice President Mene Pangalos said in a statement.

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