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Buhari calls for accelerated equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

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Mahamadu Buhari – Nigeria president

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the global community to accelerate an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

“I will take this opportunity to remind the global community that the current state of access to COVID-19 vaccines is unacceptable. We cannot afford a situation where a handful of countries keep the global vaccine supply to themselves at the expense of other nations,” Buhari said during a national broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary.

“We must act now to accelerate the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” the Nigerian leader said, noting he had earlier conveyed the message to the international community in New York last week, during a debate at the United Nations General Assembly.

Some 5 million vaccine doses have been administered to Nigerians through efforts led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, he said, adding the country is willing to continue to explore options for purchase or acquisition of vaccines such as through the COVAX Facility and the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.

Buhari said his country is willing to invest more to support local pharmaceutical and research agencies to come up with ideas for locally developed vaccines.

“Accordingly, I have directed the Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Health, Education and Science and Technology to work with Nigerian and international pharmaceutical companies and research organizations to enhance Nigeria’s domestic pharmaceutical capacity,” he said.

He said the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority is raising a 200 million U.S. dollars fund for this initiative.

Nigeria has an ambitious goal of vaccinating at least 40 percent of its population by the end of this year, and 70 percent by the end of 2022.

Source: GNA

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