Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria lacks the resources to prepay for a COVID-19 vaccine.
He, therefore, appealed to Europe to work closely with Africa to ensure that when a vaccine is finally deployed, it would not be on the basis of the highest bidder but rather be made available at an affordable and in an accessible manner.
According to a statement on Saturday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice-President spoke on Friday at the virtual 2020 EURAFRICA Forum with the theme, ‘Towards a realistic Euro-African partnership during and beyond the COVID-19 era.’
In the statement titled, ‘COVID-19 pandemic: Vaccine distribution should be accessible to all, not on the basis of highest bidder, says Osinbajo at EURAFRICA Forum,’ Osinbajo was quoted as saying, “Although Nigeria does not have the resources or means to prepay for a COVID-19 vaccine, we are fortunate to be a GAVI-supported country and we urge the European Union to lend support to GAVI’s effort to ensure equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX initiative.”
Osinbajo said this way, poorer countries and their citizens would get the vaccines that they needed at the same time as the rest of the world.
He 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.”