News - March 18, 2021

WHO reaffirms COVID-19 vaccine safe despite suspension by some EU member-countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday in Geneva reaffirmed the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was safe despite recent precautionary measures by some countries in the European Union (EU) to temporarily suspend its use.
The global health body said the decision to suspend use of the drugs by the affected countries was based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in persons who had received the vaccine.
The WHO however, said having considered the same information, other countries in the EU had decided to continue using the vaccine in their immunization programmes.
“Vaccination against COVID-19 will not reduce illness or deaths from other causes. Thromboembolic events are known to occur frequently. Venous thromboembolism is the third most common cardiovascular disease globally.
“In extensive vaccination campaigns, it is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunization. This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to the vaccination itself, but it is good practice to investigate them.
“It also shows that the surveillance system works and that effective controls are in place, the WHO said.
The WHO said it was in regular contact with the European Medicines Agency and regulators around the world for the latest information on COVID-19 vaccine safety.
“The WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is carefully assessing the latest available safety data for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Once that review is completed, WHO will immediately communicate the findings to the public.
“At this time, WHO considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue,” the statement said. (PANA/NAN)
Nigerian govt. urges private sector operators to embrace green bond projects
More adoption of a green bond in the execution of projects by private sector operators, corporate organizations and government outfits would help in developing the country’s economy and reduce global warming, the Federal Government has said.
The Director, Department of Climate Change, Hajia Halima Bawa-Bwari, made the call during a one-day stakeholders’ engagement on the green bond implementation programme organized by the Ministry of Environment on Wednesday in Abuja.
Bawa-Bwari, represented by Jonah Barde said the meeting was initiated to sensitize the people, including federal outfits, to understand better how they could embrace green bond projects.
“We also want to assess the progress made so far on green bonds. The Federal Government so far has issued two sovereign green bonds to the private sector between 2017 to 2018.
“The Federal Government Green Bond Policy is in alignment with the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreement, Nationally Determined Contributions as well as Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,” she said.
“Its goal is to reduce the emission of the greenhouse gases that cause global change, to reduce global warming. Government MDAs should come up with activities that are sustainably viable,” she said.
Team Consultant, Daminabo Emmanuel, said the stakeholders’ engagement was with the objective of bringing together the sovereign and the private sector segments of the market to discuss.
He said implementing the projects required the creation of jobs for schools, while post-implementation also helps to create jobs.
‘’The project so far has helped to create jobs and there are taxes which are indirect returns for the government. The green bond project is an open market affair. If the Federal Government borrows, it borrows to fund their projects that create a lot of jobs and also grows the economy,” Emmanuel said,
The Desk Officer, Climate Finance unit, Bernadette Ejiofor, presented a paper titled “Retrospective- Green bond issuance in Nigeria”.
Ejiofor said that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) needed to make green their budgets and make them more viable for green bond issuances.
“Nigerian Government taps into the growing markets for green bonds as part of funding its national development, the economic recovery and growth plan, and the targets in its nationally determined contribution.
“We should take into cognizance the environmental criteria that would promote access to green bonds.
“We are trying to create awareness, especially amongst the private sector to go ahead and explore the green bonds,” she said.
Ejiofor said if more MDAs come up with “environment friendly projects” they could access more green bond issuances. (NAN)

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