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Covid-19: vaccines not apportioned to the Rich – FG

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COVID 19 vaccine

The Federal Government of Nigeria has said, contrary to widespread rumors, the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid vaccines received in the country have not been apportioned to any set of people or precisely, “the rich”.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, made this known while featuring on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme.

Nigeria on Tuesday received nearly four million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF, and WHO.

Read More: COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Nigeria

The 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine arrived in Abuja at noon on Tuesday.

Speaking on the delivery of the vaccines on Wednesday, Shuaib said, “We are protecting the vaccines very closely, we’ve increased security around the vaccines to make sure that unauthorized access is not possible.

“So, we are waiting on NAFDAC. We feel that they are going to do all of the checks that are necessary and once they give us the green light, we will be ready to roll out the vaccines.”

Asked whether the vaccines have been shared among influential people, Shuaib said, “I will tell you categorically that we have not allotted these vaccines to the rich people or to the people in the urban areas, absolutely not. Mr. President has been very clear.

Read More: UK PM Boris Johnson meets Nigerian pastor, for Covid vaccination

“Mr. Vice President has also added his voice and the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force has communicated this at the Presidential Task Force media briefings. He has made it very clear in terms of who we are going to prioritize and I will repeat it here again that the first set of people who are going to be taking these vaccines are those people who have sacrificed in the last one year taking care of all Nigerians that have come down with Covid-19. So, the frontline health workers.

“On Friday, we are going to be launching the vaccines, we are going to be rolling them out at the treatment centers at the national hospital. Our priority will be the health workers that are frontline. We are going to be giving these vaccines to first responders.

“We are also going to be looking at people outside of the health sector who are at risk of getting Covid-19. We are going to be looking at those strategic leaders like Mr. President and the Vice-President, those people who will also want to take the vaccines publicly so that they can motivate the followers to take the vaccines, to convince them that the vaccines are very safe.”

He enjoined Nigerians who wish to receive the vaccines to register on the website of the NPHCDA, adding that over 2.3 million Nigerians have registered in the past few hours.

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Global News

Iran nuclear talks set to resume in Vienna

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Talks on Iran’s nuclear programme aimed at salvaging a 2015 nuclear deal were set to resume Saturday, a day after Tehran said it had started producing uranium at 60 percent purity.

The Islamic republic had declared it would sharply ramp up its enrichment of uranium earlier this week, after an attack on its Natanz nuclear facility that it blamed on arch-foe Israel.

The incidents cast a shadow over talks in Vienna aimed at rescuing the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers that then US president Donald Trump abandoned almost three years ago.

The European Union said Saturday’s talks would involve EU officials and representatives from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran.

The talks are aimed at determining which sanctions the United States should lift and the measures Iran has to take to come into compliance with the accord.

The Russian ambassador to Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, spoke of “slow but steady progress in the negotiations on restoration of the nuclear deal” on Twitter.

Also Read: YouTube Suspension: TB Joshua’s youtube Channel on shutdown

Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, confirmed Iran was now producing uranium enriched to 60 percent purity, taking the country closer to the 90 percent level required for use in a nuclear weapon.

“The enrichment of uranium to 60 percent is underway” in Natanz, he said, quoted by Tasnim news agency.

Iran has repeatedly insisted it is not seeking an atomic bomb, but at that rate of production, it could take the Islamic republic 322 days to produce the amount of 60 percent enriched uranium needed to make one bomb, based on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s criteria.

But this would require Iran to have a sufficient amount of 20 percent enriched uranium, which it does not have, according to the latest IAEA data.

Tehran has gradually rolled back its nuclear commitments since 2019, a year after Washington withdrew from the accord and began imposing sanctions.

The 2015 deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

Under the accord, Iran had committed to keep enrichment to 3.67 percent, though it had stepped this up to 20 percent in January.

Negotiations aimed at ensuring the return of the United States to the JCPOA and the lifting of sanctions resumed this week in Vienna.

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Take Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine, UNICEF to Nigerians

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Take Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine, UNICEF to Nigerians

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged those who received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Astrazeneca vaccine, to take second dose for stronger immunity against the virus.

Mrs Elizabeth Onitolo, UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) Specialists, made the call in Yola on Wednesday at a three-day media dialogue on Immunisation, Post-polio Certification and COVID-19 Vaccination.

The programme was organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF.

Onitolo urged those who were vaccinated to also observe the protocols to safeguard other people from the virus.

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She said that there was need for people to get vaccinated and continue to abide by the protocols to curtail the spread of the virus.

Also, Mrs Lilian Okeke, Team Lead, African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) in Adamawa, said the vaccine was provided to save lives and not to harm anyone.

“Our concern is to save lives, you need to take those preventive measures to save your live and others,“ Okeke said.

She advised pregnant women to consult their doctors for medical advice before receiving such vaccine.

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Police Kills another Black man in Minneapolis, sparks fresh protest

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Fresh Protests broke out on Sunday night after a United State Police Operative, shot a young Black man by name Daunte Wright in the suburb of Minneapolis.

The incident is discovered to be happening in the region where a former police officer is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd.

According to AFP, Hundreds of people gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Center, northwest of Minneapolis, with the police, later firing teargas and flash bangs to disperse the crowd.

Around midnight local time (0500 GMT), the National Guard was on the scene, police had declared an illegal assembly, and the Brooklyn Center mayor said he would “be issuing a curfew order shortly”.

The mother of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, told a crowd earlier Sunday evening that he called her to say he had been pulled over by police, local media reported.

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Katie Wright said she heard officers tell her son to put his phone down, and then one of the officers ended the call. Soon after, her son’s girlfriend told her he had been shot.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed to AFP it was “investigating an officer-involved shooting incident” in Brooklyn Center but declined to identify the victim.

According to a statement from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, officers pulled over a driver for a traffic violation. When they discovered he had an outstanding warrant, they tried to take him into custody.

He got back into his car, and one of the officers fired their weapon, striking the driver, who died at the scene.

A female passenger in the car suffered “non-life-threatening injuries” and was transported to a local hospital, said the statement, which did not identify the woman.

Photos from the protest showed men stomping on the windshield of a police cruiser. Police fired rubber bullets to try to disperse the protesters, according to the Star Tribune.

After about an hour, the police presence eased, and the crowd lit candles and wrote messages such as “Justice for Daunte Wright” in chalk on the street.

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Brooklyn Center mayor Mike Elliott called the shooting “tragic”.

“We are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with force,” he wrote on Twitter.

But clashes broke out again soon after as another group of several hundred protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Headquarters and were met with teargas and flash bangs.

The shooting comes during the ongoing trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing charges of manslaughter and murder over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.

Floyd’s killing sparked months of protests in the United States against racism and police brutality and attracted international outrage.

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