Osinbajo Advocates Accessible, Affordable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine

Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine should not be based on the highest bidder but rather be provided at an affordable and accessible manner.

Osinbajo made the call while speaking at the virtual 2020 EURAFRICA Forum themed, “Towards a Realistic Euro-African Partnership During and Beyond the COVID-19 Era,” said his media aide, Laolu Akande.

He said the approach would ensure contain the spread of the virus.

Dignitaries such as UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterre and the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Mr Ulisses Correia Silva among others made presentations at the summit which aims to promote collaboration between Europe and Africa.

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.

“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.”

According to the vice-president, the summit presented an avenue for Europe and Africa to share perspectives on matters of mutual interest.

While calling for partnership to effectively tackle the virus, he said if COVID-19 existed in any part of the world, it remained a significant threat to every part of the world.

Osinbajo added, “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.”

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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