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Again, Nigeria doubles down on safety of AstraZeneca vaccine

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The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, had said that AstraZeneca Vaccine is safe.

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Ihekweazu stated at the Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital (AE-FUTHA) in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, during the commissioning of a molecular Laboratory built by the NCDC noted that no medical intervention in the world can save more than the COVID-19 vaccine,

He said that he has confidence in the vaccine, saying that the center’s role is not only to respond to the current outbreak but to ensure that the nation is stronger together as a country to respond to a future outbreak.

“This is part of the federal government’s programme as a result of the Covid 19 outbreak, to support the country so that we will never find ourselves in this type of situation again,” Ihekweazu said.

“Like I have said severally, our role is not only to respond to the current outbreak but to make sure that we are stronger together as a country to respond to future outbreak. This is what led to the programme that we are carrying out across the country to strengthen our health security in infrastructure, this is one example.

“No medical intervention in the world that can save more than the vaccine and we are confident right now of the vaccine we are introduced to. I have taken mine about two weeks ago. Every member of staff in NCDC have taken the vaccine. We are confident that the vaccine will be a game-changer as we respond to this outbreak in Nigeria.”

Speaking the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Emeka Onwe, revealed that they lost about 7 patients and some staff of the hospital to the coronavirus disease, between December 2020 to March 2021.

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He appealed to NCDC to upgrade the virology centre in the hospital constructed by the state government to the Institute of Viral Study, Research, Treatment and Control to serve the state, South-East and the South-South effectively during the outbreak of the pandemic.

“It is worth of note that during the first phase of COVID-19, we successfully managed some confirmed positive cases even though unfortunately some lives were lost due to late presentation to the hospital,” Onwe said.

“We had sad event where we lost some of our staff to COVID-19 but sir, those that died of COVID- 19, did not contract the disease from the hospital and they presented late.

“Among our data include the following summary of cases from December 2020 to March 2021. We have total number of admission 102, two positive cases that are alive, 54 total negative cases that are alive, deaths with positive tests 5, deaths with negative tests 17.

“We are appealing that this centre having played this role in serving the hospital community, Ebonyi State government, South-East and South-South when the need arose we are appealing if this place will be converted to regional centre, we will be very happy.”


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