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Rich nations warned hogging Covid jabs will lead to huge global death toll

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Rich nations warned hogging Covid jabs will lead to huge global death toll

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide will die needlessly from Covid this autumn as wealthy nations prioritise booster shots for their own “highly protected” people instead of sharing doses, the head of the Oxford vaccine group has warned.

Prof Sir Andrew Pollard said that while it was “possible” a third dose might help protect some people, the “potential benefit” for the vast majority was “small” because most double jabbed people were already “highly protected” against Covid-19.

Pollard said the “failure” of wealthier nations to share more vaccines this summer – coupled with their decisions to embark on large-scale booster programmes – meant large numbers of avoidable deaths were now inevitable.

Supply of vaccines to poorer countries is improving and likely to “get better”, he said. “But for many hundreds of thousands of people, it won’t be soon enough.”

Pollard said it was “truly amazing” that within the next month, 50% of the world’s population will have had at least one dose to protect them against Covid-19. But he cautioned that the “remarkable progress” the world had made against coronavirus was “tempered by an uncomfortable moral and ethical predicament”. “Simply put,” he added, “the doses still aren’t shared fairly.

“That global 50% vaccinated figure hides gross inequity. More than 95% of people in low-income countries are yet to receive even their first dose, while over 60% have been vaccinated in high-income countries. We are protected, but they are not.

“To effect change in global mortality this year, it isn’t enough to promise to share doses – 1bn doses in total pledged in June by the G7 – we have to actually give the doses to those at risk of dying, and stick the needles in before they meet the virus.”

Pollard said the case for boosters was not yet agreed by all scientists. “Most double-jabbed people are so highly protected against severe disease that a booster dose won’t improve protection much,” he said.

“But there is a much stronger case, and there is no doubt among scientists, that first doses are lifesaving for the unvaccinated. Unvaccinated people should be prioritised wherever they live.”

But as he called on wealthier nations to urgently share more doses with poorer countries, Pollard also pleaded with individuals thinking of taking a stand on the issue not to refuse booster shots if offered them.

“The ‘to boost or not to boost’ moral dilemma is not in the purview of individual citizens who ponder whether to roll up their sleeve when offered a booster by a vaccine clinic this week,” he said.

“A dose that is in the vaccine clinic fridge (or freezer) cannot be redirected to someone else in another country, because the regulatory hurdles and shelf-life simply make redistribution of this dose not practical. A protest against vaccination at individual level will be misdirected and risks wasting these precious doses. If you are asked to roll up your sleeve, then you should do so.”

Pollard added: “There is clear evidence of a failure by governments to serve the world’s poor. But, for now, individuals must make the most of the vaccines that their healthcare systems make available to them.”

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Health

12 State Governors Owing Us, Health Workers Cry Out

The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria MHWUN, has cried out that governors of 12 states of Nigeria are unfair to their members by owing them several years of salary arrears and also failed to standardise their payments .

The medical body noted that the worst of it all is that these governors have failed to implement the N30,000 new minimum wage that has become a law in the country.

They said the governors have subjected them to harrowing life.

The MHWUN National Vice President , Femi Adebisi stated this in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital at the weekend during the 2022 international youth day organized by the South West leadership of the union, under the theme , ‘Intergenerational solidarity : creating a world for all ages.’

Adebisi said the welfare of health workers remains the only recipe to the recurrent brain drain crippling the health sector.

He however, did not identify the affected 12 states.

“We have nothing less than 12 states that are owing health workers their entitlements.We are engaging them as a union and we are hoping the governors and everyone concern will do the needful soon”, he stated.

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Health

Pay Hazard Allowance To Health Workers, NLC Urges F.G

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba, has urged the Federal Government to immediately begin the payment of hazard allowance to health workers in the country.

Wabba made the call at the 2022 annual Federal Capital Territory Nurses Week/Scientific Workshop of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives on Thursday in Abuja.

At the workshop with the theme, “Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health,” Wabba said the allowance has been reviewed but payment is yet to begin.

“Many health workers have fallen victim to diseases in taking care of patients. I salute the nurses and Midwives, your reward is not only in heaven but here on earth. I urge you to learn so you can discharge quality healthcare service to Nigerians.

“The payment of hazard allowance will boost the morale of our health workers in the country”, he added.

 

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Health

Cholera Outbreak Kills 10 In Gombe

Gombe state government has declared an outbreak of cholera after ten deaths were recorded across the state.

This was made public by Habu Dahiru, Gombe commissioner for health,  on Thursday.

Dahiru, who was represented by Abdulrahman Shuaibu, executive secretary of the Gombe Primary Health Care Development Agency, said as of September 20, 236 cases of cholera had been recorded in the state.

“This year, from June, we had sporadic cases of cholera in Balanga LGA and because of the preparedness and prompt response; it has been largely subdued without escalation,” he said.

These outbreaks are recorded in eight wards across Balanga, Yamaltu-Deba, Nafada, Funakaye and Gombe LGA of the state.

“The state ministry of health has promptly initiated public health actions for prevention and control of the disease.

“As of September 20, there was an increase in the number of cases in Gombe state as 236 cases have been listed so far.”

The commissioner said increased downpour of rain and flooding in many parts of the state led to the cholera outbreak.

He said decontamination of wells and boreholes in affected communities would be carried out and distribution of water treatment tablets in all affected communities would be conducted.

 

 

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