President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the current state of global distribution of vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic which includes many countries securing the global vaccine supply to themselves at the expense of other countries.
President Buhari stated this in his nationwide televised broadcast on Friday to celebrate the nation’s 61st independence anniversary.
He noted that he also shared the message to the global community during his presentation at the 76th United Nations General assembly (UNGA) in New York, last week.
He said, “We must act now to accelerate equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This is the message I conveyed to the international community in New York last week.
“Just like other nations of the world, since 2020 when the index case was recorded in the country, the pandemic has altered Nigeria’s recovery plans from economic recession earlier experienced.
“Our original priorities for 2020 were to continue stabilising our economy following the deep recession while restoring peace in areas confronted with security challenges. But the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on all nations meant we needed to shift gears and re-strategise.”
The President commended Nigerians for their united stand against the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that such unity is required to address other challenges facing Nigeria.
The President said, “Nigerians came together as one to fight against COVID-19. It is this attitude and by the special grace of God, we continue to survive the pandemic as a nation and indeed, provide leadership and example at regional and international levels.
“The doomsday scenario predicted for our country never came. Even as the Delta variant continues to spread, we have built the capacity we need to respond now and into the future.
“I will therefore appeal to Nigerians not to take COVID lightly, adhere to public health and social measures, put your mask on and get vaccinated. We can control this pandemic, but it requires effort on everybody’s part. The investments we made in response to COVID-19 will also serve our country to tackle any future disease outbreaks or pandemics.”
The President said Nigeria has continued to explore options to ensure free access to safe and effective vaccines nationwide despite the global inequity in access to vaccines.
He urged Nigerians to get vaccinated and observe all necessary COVID-19 protocols.
“Some five million vaccine doses have been administered to Nigerians through efforts led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and we will continue to explore options for purchase or acquisition of vaccines such as through COVAX and the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust,” the President said.