Nothing can control COVID-19 as vaccine –Ihekweazu

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Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, says nothing can control COVID-19 as a vaccine.

The NCDC boss disclosed this at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja, noting that the world needs a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19.

Ihekweazu said, “No single measure will have an impact on the world’s ability to control COVID-19 as vaccines.

“Through Africa Centre for Disease Control, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, we’re working to ensure equitable access to a safe vaccine for Nigerians, when available.”

The NCDC boss added that efforts are being made to ensure that Nigerians have access to a vaccine when it is developed.

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“Right now, there are five candidates (potential vaccines) in stage two trials for COVID-19.

“We are working to make sure that when a vaccine is developed, Nigerians will have access to it.

“We have to start preparing the Nigerian society for when the vaccine is available,” he said.

According to the NCDC boss, many countries which thought they had the COVID-19 under control, are beginning to record high number of infections.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has said a number of potential vaccines that may be deployed in the treatment of COVID-19 are now in phase three clinical trials.

WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, disclosed this at a virtual conference on Monday.

“A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection.

“However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment and there might never be.

For now, stopping outbreaks comes down to the basics of public health and disease control,” he said.

Ghebreyesus, therefore, urged countries and international partners to focus more on testing, isolating and treating COVID-19 patients as well as tracing and quarantining their contacts.

“The message to people and governments is clear: do it all. For individuals, it’s about keeping physical distance, wearing a mask, cleaning hands regularly and coughing safely away from others. Do it all,” he appealed.

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