Osinbajo advocates for equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccine
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine should be done in an equitable and affordable manner rather than on the basis of the highest bidder.
This is in accordance to a statement released by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, at the virtual 2020 EURAFRICA Forum with the theme, “Towards a Realistic Euro-African Partnership During and Beyond the COVID-19 Era”.
Osinbajo said that such approach would effectively contain the global spread of COVID-19.
The summit featured presentations from notable global leaders, including the UN Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres and the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Mr Ulisses Correia Silva among others.
It aims to foster stronger collaboration between Europe and Africa, and better promote a shared green and inclusive growth, among other objectives.
“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.
“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.
“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 they need at the same time as the rest of the world,” he said.
Osinbajo said the summit offered an opportunity for Europe and Africa to share perspectives on matters of mutual interest.
According to him, a global crisis calls for global partnerships.
He said that if COVID-19 existed in any part of the world, it remained a significant threat to every part of the world.
“The partnership between Africa and the European Union is good platform for both sides to work together on economic recovery and rebuilding of health systems.
“It is also equally important that we become even stronger advocates for closer international cooperation to tackle the fall out of COVID-19.”
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