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US: Stick To Full Two-Dose Vaccine Regimen, FDA Tells Health Officials

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United States leading health experts are dismissing suggestions that the second shot of authorized coronavirus vaccines could be delayed to make more doses available faster to more people.

Recently, some public health experts have debated whether it is safe to reduce the two-dose regimen that proved highly effective in trials to at least one shot as the pandemic surges.

The debate continues as the United States struggles with administering the doses it already has.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show more than 15 million vaccine doses have been distributed, but only about four and a half million have been administered.

But the food and drug administration says it would be “premature” to change the way the two authorized vaccines are administered.

Meanwhile, the statement, by FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn and director of the agency’s center for biologics evaluation and research, Peter Marks, said the available data continue to support the use of two specified doses of each authorized vaccine at specified intervals.

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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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UK’s New COVID-19 Strain Reported In At Least 60 Countries – WHO

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The World Health Organization has on Wednesday said the faster-spreading coronavirus variant been found in the United Kingdom is now in at least 60 countries, 10 more compared with a week ago.

WHO said in its weekly update that the South African strain, 501Y.V2, which like the United Kingdom one is believed to be more infectious but does not appear deadlier, has now been reported in 23 countries and territories.

With the global death toll now well past two million, and new variants of the virus causing deep concern, countries across the world are grappling with how to slow infections until vaccines become widely available.

The UN’s health agency added that the number of new deaths climbed to a record high of 93,000 over the previous seven days, with 4.7 million new cases over the same period.

The UK strain, first detected in mid-December, is thought by the WHO to be between 50-70 percent more infectious than the original.

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