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Nigeria Will Secure COVID-19 Vaccines When Available – PTF

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Coronavirus vaccine
Federal Government
has expressed confidence that Nigeria would secure a fair share as soon as any certified COVID-19 vaccine is available.

It however, criticised the move by some countries to nationalise and politicise vaccine distribution and accessibility, terming it as a failure of global leadership.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, made this known during the Presidential Task Force (PTF) briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja on Thursday, August 20.

He said;

Nigeria is working with World Health Organization (WHO) to finalize enrolment with ACT Accelerator, a global mechanism tracking and sponsoring research Organisations working on COVID-19 vaccine development.

We are also interested in the COVAX facility, a GAVI supported global initiative to procure and assure equitable access to vaccines, as soon as they are available, especially for lower middle Income Countries (LMIC).

This will prioritize Nigeria for allocation of a part of 2 billion vaccines doses that will be secured, in a special plan to protect the interests of poorer countries.

Ehanire added;

The changing dynamics of the virus and the disease make it necessary for us to continue to review our response strategies, ensure we train and update our health workers on the latest and most effective approach to treatment of the disease and tailor our procurement in the light of knowledge gained.

On his part, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said;

What you see at the moment for a race to a vaccine is a failure of global leadership. Countries should not be fighting for vaccines like children fighting for a toy in a playground.

When we had a multilateral world, where collaboration and cooperation was the norm, you wouldn’t have seen a fight like this. You would have seen countries come together and agree on an equitable way to access vaccines.

He stressed;

We must recognise that every man’s life matter and the life of someone living in one part of the world does not have more value than someone living in another parts of the world.

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