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COVID-19 vaccines need to be updated: WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) Technical Advisory Group has warned of the need to update the composition of the current COVID-19 vaccines for continued effectiveness against Omicron and future variants.

This is contained in an interim statement from the Technical Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC), an 18-experts group appointed by the UN health agency.

The group stated that vaccines that had a high impact on the prevention of infection and transmission, in addition to prevention of severe disease and death, were needed and should be developed.

“Until such vaccines are available, and as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves, the composition of current COVID-19 vaccines may need to be updated to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infection and disease by VOCs, including Omicron and future variants,” the statement said.

The group will consider a change in vaccine composition to ensure doses continue to meet WHO criteria, including protection against severe disease and improving vaccine-induced protection.

The expert group encouraged COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to generate and provide data on the performance of current and Omicron-specific vaccines, which will inform any decision when changes to vaccine composition may be required.

(NAN)

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NiMet predicts 3-day haziness from Wednesday

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dust haze

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted hazy weather condition from Wednesday to Friday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Tuesday in Abuja, predicted the North-Western states to be under moderate dust haze on Wednesday.

The agency further predicted horizontal visibility between 3km to 7km with the North-East to be in thick dust haze with horizontal visibility between 300m to 1,500m during the forecast period in the region.

“The North-Central cities as well as the inland cities of the South should be predominantly in dust haze throughout the forecast period.

“The coastal region of the country should also experience dust haze throughout the day,” it said.

According to NiMet, the Northern states are expected to be in thick dust haze on Thursday, with horizontal visibility of less than or equal to 1,000m throughout the day.

The agency forecast the North-Central cities to be predominantly in moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility of 2km to 5km throughout the forecast period.

NiMet anticipated the inland and coastal regions to also experience moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility of 2km to 5km throughout the forecast period.

“For Friday, Northern states are expected to be in thick dust haze during the forecast period. The North central cities should be in thick dust haze throughout the day.

“Inland cities of South and coastal regions should be in moderate dust haze with horizontal visibility range between two-km to five-km and localised visibility of less than or equal to 1000m during forecast period,” it said.

(NAN)

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NUC approves two more universities for Lagos: Sanwo-Olu

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Sanwo Olu.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos says the National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the establishment of two more universities for the state. 
Mr Sanwo-Olu dropped the hint at the public presentation of a book titled: Oluwatoyin Temitayo Ogundipe @60; Audacity of Resilience, on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to him, the development is timely, as it will expand access to the teeming youth who aspire for higher education.

He stressed that the two existing universities in the state were not enough to accommodate the quest for the growing number of youths seeking higher education.

The governor emphasised that education remained the only potent weapon to eradicate poverty and breach all limitations.

According to him, there is also the need to groom future leaders, as well as develop a curriculum that speaks to the needs of tomorrow.

Mr Sanwo-Olu added that Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu would henceforth become University of Science and Technology, while Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education would now merge with Michael Otedola College of Primary Education and upgraded as University of Education.

(NAN)

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INEC withholds pay of 630 ad hoc staff over election materials

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Prof. Yakub Mahmood

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it withheld the allowances of 630 ad hoc staff who failed to return election materials and devices used for the gubernatorial election in Anambra on November 6, 2021.

The state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Nkwachukwu Orji, during a news conference on Tuesday, said the commission was displeased that the ad hoc staff failed to return the commission’s materials.

“The commission has taken the unfortunate decision to withhold the allowances of staff involved in the act, pending the return of the materials to the commission,” he said.

The INEC official named some of the materials to include; Bio-modal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, battery chargers, cables and other accessories.

Mr Orji said although some of the staff concerned have started returning the items, the commission has resolved to place an order that all the materials must be returned before payment would be made to them.

The REC also announced that INEC had lifted the suspension placed on the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in the state.

“INEC suspended CVR in Anambra on Sept. 15, 2021 because of the governorship election in the state, but with the election successfully completed, the commission has from today Tuesday Jan. 25 lifted the suspension,” he said.

He said the exercise would take place in the 21 LGAs of the state and the commission’s headquarters in Awka.

(NAN)

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