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International News

Saturday 10th June 2023
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SAR- CoV-2 Delta Variant Awareness

Full vaccination is needed to protect the vulnerable

What to expect after getting a Covid-19 Vaccine
The COVID-19 shot may cause side effects in some people. Side effects should go away in a few days.


On the arm where you got the shot:

In the rest of your body

Ask the facility healthcare worker for help if:
The redness or pain where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours
Your side effects are worrying you
Your side effects dont seems to be going away after a few days.

Helpful Tips
If you have pain, headache, or fever, ask your healthcare worker, if you can have medicine.

if you are sore where you get the shot:
Apply a clean, cool, wet, washcloth, over the area
Use or move your arm gently

If you have a fever
Get plenty of rest
Drink a lot of water
Dress slightly.

Side effects may make you feel a little sick or even make if hard to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Some COVID-19 Vaccinesneed 2 shots to work. You should get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a doctor tells you not to.

COVID-19 vaccines may not fully protect you until a week or two after your final shot. It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.

Even after your COVID-19 vaccination, when you are in any facilitity, it's important to continue wearing your mask, try to stay at least 6 feet away from others as much as possible, and wash your hands often.


First there was Pfizer, then AstraZeneca, now Moderna and Novavax. How do they differ? And which might you get?

1. Pfizer/BioNTech
Approved in UK, EU and US

Type Synthetic mRNA vaccine made from enzymes; sends "messenger" RNA into body with instructions on how to produce antigens.

Manufacture Cultured cell materials made by BioNTech in Germany, then sent to Pfizer in Puurs, Belgium to be formulated and bottled. Similar process in US; and rival French firm Sanofi also making doses.

Distribution From Belgium it goes to central NHS depots, then batches of 1,000 doses sent to hospitals and GP hubs where they are thawed from -70C.

Supply Some part of England including London have received less than others. Pfizer has cut supply while it upgrades Belgian factory. Enzyme manufacturing process can be less efficient at large volumes.

Delivery UK ordered 40m doses, but will not say how many delivered. Pfizer to make 2bn this year, with 200m for EU, 170m for US. Covax, a WHO initiative, bought 40m for low-income countries.

2. Oxford/AstraZeneca
Approved in UK and EU

Type A "viral vector" vaccine using common cold virus modified with "spike" protein to make it similar to Covid-19.

Manufacture Grown from cells infected with virus in "bioreactors"; then filtered and purified. UK plants in Wrexham, Oxford and Keele. Also in Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

Distribution Can be kept six months in standard refrigeration. Is going to 206 hospitals, 50 regional hubs and 1,200 GP surgery hubs.

Supply Plants in Belgium and Germany have had production problems - biological processes are not always predictable. The UK Vaccine Taskforce noted "fill-finish" facilities in Wales where doses are filled in vials as signficant possible bottleneck, according to Dr Zoltán Kis, a research associate at Future Vaccine.

Delivery UK has ordered 100m doses, EU has ordered 300m, but firm will only be able to deliver 25m by end of March.

3. Moderna
Approved in UK, EU and US

Type MRNA vaccine made using similar process asPfizer/BioNTech.

Manufacture American firm has two main plants in US, and set up operations in Switerland, with Lonza, and in Sweden with Recipharm.

Distribution Must be stored at -20C, so specialist vaccination centres.

Supply Moderna had production delays with shortage of glass vials and rubber stoppers.

Delivery UK has ordered 17m doses with first 5m arriving from March. US has ordered 200m, and EU 160m. Covax is in talks.

4. Novavax
Phase 3 trial ended - not yet approved

Type A protein subunit vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, designed using part of Covid-19, and contains spike proteins produced by moth cells infected with genetically modified version of coronavirus. Also contains an "adjuvant", which enhances immune response.

Manufacture Has signed deals with manufacturers in Germany, Czech Republic, and Fujifilm Diosynth factory in Teesside. Some ingredients will be made in India, and adjuvants made in US, Sweden and Denmark.

Distribution Can be stored at refrigeration temperatures. Yet to be approved in UK.

Supply First doses not expected until March or April. US firm is smaller than other vaccine makers and has not delivered on this scale before.

Delivery UK has ordered 60m doses.

5. Johnson and Johnson
Phase 3 trial ended - not yet approved

Type Viral vector vaccine, similar to the AstraZeneca, using modified cold virus as a base.

Manufacture Firm has seven factories in US and Europe that will make 1bn doses this year.

Distribution Vaccine can be refrigerated, but not yet been approved in the UK.

Supply J&J is behind its original plan to deliver 12m doses in US by March.

Delivery UK bought 30m doses. J&J is due to deliver 100m doses to the US, 200m to EU and 500m to Covax.

Other vaccines UK has pre-ordered 60m doses each from GSK/Sanofi Pasteur and Valneva, which are in phase 2 trials.

• This article was amended on 12 February 2021 to remove a reference to a Janssen vaccine. As a subsidiary company, Janssen is developing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.


Nigeria received nearly 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.

The arrival marked a historic step towards the goal to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. The delivery is part of a first wave of arrivals in Nigeria that will continue in the coming days and weeks.

COVAX shipped 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), from Mumbai to Abuja.

"The UN Country Team in Nigeria reiterates its commitment to support the vaccination campaign in Nigeria and help contain the spread of the virus," said Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria. "The arrival of these vaccines in Abuja today marks a milestone for the COVAX Facility in its unprecedented effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of 2021."

The arrival of the CIVID-19 vaccine will enable the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to commence the vaccination of Nigerians in priority groups, starting with frontline healthcare workers.

"This is a landmark moment for the country and the COVAX Facility's mission to help end the acute phase of the pandemic by enabling equitable access to these vaccines across the world. We are glad to see Nigeria is amongst the first receiving the doses from COVAX, thanks to the excellent level of preparedness put in place by the Government of Nigeria," said Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director for Country Programmes at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. "Gavi looks forward to these vaccines being made available to the people most at risk, as soon as possible, and to ensuring that routine immunization services for other life-threatening infections are also delivered to avoid other disease outbreaks."

Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Representative in Nigeria, said: "It is heart-warming to witness this epoch-making event and WHO wishes to congratulate the government of Nigeria for its participation in the global vaccine collaboration (COVAX) efforts and its commitment to protecting Nigerians against this pandemic.

According to him, "Vaccines are a critical new tool in the battle against COVID-19; therefore, this is a step in the right direction. These vaccines have undergone rigorous regulatory processes at global and country level and have been deemed safe and effective."

The COVAX Facility is expected to deliver around 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the African Region in the first quarter of 2021 and has committed to providing up to 600 million doses to the region by end-2021 to cover 20 per cent of the population.

"After a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, today we celebrate the efforts being made in getting the vaccine to Nigeria. With more than 150,000 Nigerians infected with the virus and over 1,800 lives lost, the path to recovery for the people of Nigeria can finally begin," said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative.

"This is a very significant occasion - the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Nigeria is critical in curbing the pandemic. The only way out of this crisis is to ensure that vaccinations are available to all."

The COVAX Facility thanks the governments, foundation and other donors who contributed to making this milestone happen - including the generous support of the European Commission, countries of the European Union, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. For a full list of donors, please see here.

For several months, COVAX partners have been supporting governments and partners in readiness efforts, in preparation for this moment. They have been especially active in working with some of the world's poorest countries: those that will benefit from the Advance Market Commitment (AMC), an innovative financial mechanism to help secure global and equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines. This includes assisting with the development of national vaccination plans, support for cold chain infrastructure, as well as stockpiling of half a billion syringes and safety boxes for their disposal, masks, gloves and other equipment to ensure that there is enough equipment for health workers to start vaccinating priority groups as soon as possible.

In order for doses to be delivered to COVAX Facility participants via this first allocation round, several critical pieces must be in place, including confirmation of national regulatory authorisation criteria related to the vaccines delivered, indemnification agreements, national vaccination plans from AMC participants, as well as other logistical factors such as export and import licenses.

As participants fulfil the above criteria and finalise readiness preparations, COVAX issues purchase orders to the manufacturer and ships and delivers doses via an iterative process. This means deliveries for the first round of allocation are taking place on a rolling basis and in tranches.

COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others. COVAX is part of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

COVAX has built a diverse portfolio of vaccines suitable for a range of settings and populations, and is on track to meet its goal of delivering at least 2 billion doses of vaccine to participating countries around the globe in 2021, including at least 1.3 billion donor-funded doses to the 92 lower-income COVAX Facility participants supported by the Gavi COVAX AMC.

WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 8 March, 2021

COVID-19 vaccines shipped by COVAX arrive in Nigeria

Covid-19 Transport Briefs

Facts about COVID-19 vaccines

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Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Emergency Departments

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With Pandemic Worsening the Mental Illness and Addiction Crisis, Biden Administration to Provide Nearly $2.5 Billion to States, Territories for Treatment, Prevention Aid

Thursday, March 11, 2021
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Funding to Support Comprehensive Community Prevention, Treatment, Recovery and Health Services

The Biden Administration will provide nearly $2.5 billion in funding to states and territories to address the nation's mental illness and addiction crisis, which has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will direct $1.65 billion in Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant funding and $825 million in Community Mental Health Services Block Grant funding to states and territories.

The Community Mental Health Services Block Grant program allows states and territories to provide comprehensive community mental health services and address needs and gaps in existing treatment services for those with severe mental health conditions.

The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program allows states and territories to plan, implement and evaluate activities to prevent and treat substance use disorder. This funding will also allow recipients to maximize efficiency in existing treatment and recovery infrastructure, promote support for providers and address unique local needs to deliver substance use disorder prevention.

"We know multiple stressors during the pandemic - isolation, sickness, grief, job loss, food instability and loss of routines - have devastated many Americans and presented unprecedented challenges for behavioral health providers across the nation," said Acting Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Tom Coderre. "During this time of increased urgency, we want to assure them that funding is in place to help states and territories provide pathways to prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services, especially for underserved populations."

Recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data confirming a rise in fatal overdoses during the pandemic, and this year's increases in calls to helplines across the country are indicative of growing anxiety, depression and trauma in Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic crisis have been especially devastating for Black and Latino communities, who are experiencing a disproportionate number of COVID-19 infections and deaths as well as higher-than-average unemployment rates.

"SAMHSA resources connect Americans to evidence-based treatment and services every day," said Coderre. "Focusing on both mental and substance use disorders - challenges that pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic but that have worsened over the past year - will be a crucial part of SAMHSA's approach to helping the nation move forward."

In addition to the $2.5 billion awarded today, SAMHSA has awarded $686 million in Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) Expansion Grants; Emergency Grants to Address Mental and Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19 (Emergency Response COVID-19) and supplements to fiscal year 2020 Emergency Response COVID-19 grant recipients.

Funding allocation tables can be viewed here:

FY 2021 Community Mental Health Block Grant Program COVID-19 Supplemental Awards

FY 2021 Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program COVID-19 Supplemental Awards

People searching for treatment for mental or substance use disorders can find treatment by visiting or by calling SAMHSA's National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

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Responding to disasters is both rewarding and challenging work. Sources of stress for emergency responders may include witnessing human suffering, risk of personal harm, intense workloads, life-and-death decisions, and separation from family. Stress prevention and management is critical for responders to stay well and to continue to help in the situation. There are important steps responders should take before, during, and after an event. To take care of others, responders must be feeling well and thinking clearly.

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms. Additional information is found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text Talk With Us to 66746.
  • People with deafness or hearing loss can use their preferred relay service to call 1-800-985-5990.

See the SAMHSA tip sheet, Tips for Disaster Responders: Preventing and Managing Stress

Here are some important steps responders can take to ensure they are able to do their job and cope with challenging situations:

Preparing for a Response:

  • Try to learn as much as possible about what your role would be in a response.
  • If you will be traveling or working long hours during a response, explain this to loved ones who may want to contact you. Come up with ways you may be able to communicate with them. Keep their expectations realistic, and take the pressure off yourself.
  • Talk to your supervisor and establish a plan for who will fill any urgent ongoing work duties unrelated to the disaster while you are engaged in the response.

During a Response: Understand and Identify Burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress

Limit your time working alone by trying to work in teams.
Responders experience stress during a crisis. When stress builds up it can cause:

  • Burnout - feelings of extreme exhaustion and being overwhelmed.
  • Secondary traumatic stress - stress reactions and symptoms resulting from exposure to another individual's traumatic experiences, rather than from exposure directly to a traumatic event.

Coping techniques like taking breaks, eating healthy foods, exercising, and using the buddy system can help prevent and reduce burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Recognize the signs of both of these conditions in yourself and other responders to be sure those who need a break or need help can address these needs.

Signs Of Burnout:

  • Sadness, depression, or apathy
  • Easily frustrated
  • Blaming of others, irritability
  • Lacking feelings, indifferent
  • Isolation or disconnection from others
  • Poor self-care (hygiene)
  • Tired, exhausted or overwhelmed
  • Feeling like:
    • A failure
    • Nothing you can do will help
    • You are not doing your job well
    • You need alcohol/other drugs to cope

Signs of Secondary Traumatic Stress

  • Excessively worry or fear about something bad happening
  • Easily startled, or "on guard" all of the time
  • Physical signs of stress (e.g. racing heart)
  • Nightmares or recurrent thoughts about the traumatic situation
  • The feeling that others' trauma is yours

Get support from team members: Develop a Buddy System

In a buddy system, two responders partner together to support each other, and monitor each other's stress, workload, and safety.

  • Get to know each other. Talk about background, interests, hobbies, and family. Identify each other's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Keep an eye on each other. Try to work in the same location if you can.
  • Set up times to check-in with each other. Listen carefully and share experiences and feelings. Acknowledge tough situations and recognize accomplishments, even small ones.
  • Offer to help with basic needs such as sharing supplies and transportation.
  • Monitor each other's workloads. Encourage each other to take breaks. Share opportunities for stress relief (rest, routine sleep, exercise, and deep breathing).
  • Communicate your buddy's basic needs and limits to leadership - make your buddy feel "safe" to speak up.

Read more about the buddy system.

Responder Self-Care Techniques

  • Limit working hours to no longer than 12-hour shifts.
  • Work in teams and limit amount of time working alone.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Talk to family, friends, supervisors, and teammates about your feelings and experiences.
  • Practice breathing and relaxation techniques.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and get adequate sleep and exercise.
  • Know that it is okay to draw boundaries and say "no."
  • Avoid or limit caffeine and use of alcohol.

It is important to remind yourself:

  • It is not selfish to take breaks.
  • The needs of survivors are not more important than your own needs and well-being.
  • Working all of the time does not mean you will make your best contribution.
  • There are other people who can help in the response.

Responding to disasters can be both rewarding and stressful. Knowing that you have stress and coping with it as you respond will help you stay well, and this will allow you to keep helping those who are affected.

Responders will experience stress. Managing stress and taking breaks will make you a better responder.

After the response: Family and Work-life

These are some resources responders can share with their family members and co-workers:

Family members can help make the transition easier after the response is over.

Additional Resources: