Osinbajo: COVID-19 Vaccine Should be Made Accessible to all countries

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines should not be on the basis of the highest bidder.

Speaking at the 2020 EURAFRICA forum which held virtually on Friday, the vice president said the vaccine should be made accessible to all countries, especially the poor and developing countries.

The forum themed ‘Towards a realistic Euro-African partnership during and beyond the COVID-19 era’, was organised to foster a stronger partnership between Europe and Africa to promote growth.

Osinbajo said: “Europe should work closely with Africa to ensure that when a vaccine is finally deployed it should not be on the basis of the highest bidder but rather be made available at an affordable and in an accessible manner”.

“This is a matter that should not be taken for granted. We saw during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, in richer parts of the world, that orders for test kits and reagents by African countries were deemed too small and tended to be ignored,” he said.

He emphasized that “although Nigeria does not have the resources or means to pre-pay for a COVID-19 vaccine, we are fortunate to be a GAVI supported country and we urge the EU to lend support to GAVI’s effort to ensure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX initiative”.

“This way, poorer countries and their citizens will get the vaccines that they need at the same time as the rest of the world,” he said.

The vice president said the forum serves as a good platform to help African and European countries work together to achieve economic growth.

Meanwhile, the federal government has received samples of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Although, Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, has vowed to the potency of the vaccine, Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, said the samples will be subjected to evaluation by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research.

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