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Moderna Files For U.S. Vaccine Authorization, Will Seek EU Nod

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Drug maker, Moderna has filed for U.S. and European emergency regulatory approval of its coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.

It is now left for regulators to look at trial data for the MRNA vaccine and decide if it is safe and effective enough to recommend for roll out.

Clinical studies have revealed the vaccine is more than 94% effective at protecting against COVID-19 infection.

Another drug maker, Pfizer, has already filed for the U.S. Emergency approval for its own vaccine.

UK regulators are reviewing data for emergency approval of the Pfizer, Astrazenca, and Oxford University coronavirus vaccines.

Moderna says it hopes to gain UK approval soon, now that it has trial data from 30,000 volunteers including the elderly.

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Africa’s COVID-19 Death Rate Now Higher Than Global Rate

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It is been reported that Africa’s COVID death rate is now above global average.

Head of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), John Nkengasong says it is “worrying and concerning” that coronavirus fatality rate on the continent is now higher than the global average. Africa has recorded 81,000 deaths since the pandemic started. Deaths rate at the second wave of the pandemic is reported higher in Africa than the first wave.

Nkengasong told journalists, the continent’s death rate stands at two and a half percent against a global average of 2.2%, and the number of nations recording higher rates is also growing.

He had said, earlier during the pandemic, Africa recorded lower death rates than the global average.

But in the “second wave,” 21 African nations, including the Sudan, Egypt, Liberia, Mali, Chad, Niger, the Gambia, Tunisia, Eswatini, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, had a death rate above 3%.

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NCDC Confirms 1301 New COVID-19 Cases, 15 Deaths

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The Nigeria Center for Disease Control has confirmed thirteen hundred and one new cases of the coronavirus across the country on Tuesday, spanning twenty-two states.

Lagos gobbled up nearly half of all the new cases with five hundred fifty-one.  The Federal Capital Territory recorded 209, while Oyo posted eighty-three.  Plateau, Kaduna and Enugu had sixty-five, sixty-four and sixty-one respectively.  Eleven other states had cases in double digits. Five reported single digits.

NCDC says seven hundred and two infected persons had recovered in Lagos State, one hundred fifty-seven in the FCT, and one hundred forty-three in plateau state.

Ninety-one thousand of all cases have been discharged.

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Nigeria Requests 10 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses From African Union

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Nigeria’s minister of health Osagie Ehanire says the country has requested 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the African Union (AU). Ehanire told a media briefing in the capital Abuja, the vaccines are expected to be delivered in March.

The au said last week, it had secured a provisional 270 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from manufacturers around the world for distribution across the continent.

Ehanire also said the Nigerian government has released 26 million dollars to support domestic vaccine production and is already in talks with manufacturers.

113, 000 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Nigeria amid rising daily infections.

It’s not clear which of the covid-19 vaccines Nigeria will get, but authorities say the country was expecting its first 100,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by the end of this month. They say there is plan to vaccinate 40% of the Nigerian population of about by the end of this year.

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