Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has charged world leaders to ensure equity in coronavirus vaccine distribution for people to have free access to it.
The Governor spoke at the 2021 Global Citizen Live Concert held at Afrika Shrine in Ikeja that had audiences in 11 cities across the world, including Paris, Seoul, London, Sidney, New York and Los Angeles in honour of frontline and essential workers in the battle against the global pandemic.
Global Citizen Live is a 24-hour global event initiated in six continents to unite the world in defending the planet against diseases and defeating poverty.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that 405,000 residents had received first doses of AstraZeneca, while 289,000 persons returned for their second doses. The State, he said, administered 230,000 first shots of Moderna to raise the vaccinated population to about 1.2 per cent within five months.
He said: “Our vaccination rate is far below the minimum target of 60 per cent recommended by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) per city population. At the current rate, it would take about three years to achieve our herd immunity target. We cannot continue at this speed if we seriously want to beat this virus.
“To safely achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, a substantial proportion of our population would need to be vaccinated to lower the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population. One of the objectives of attaining herd immunity is to prevent mutations from emerging leading to more aggressive strains. It is important that Lagos achieves herd immunity at the same time with all countries together.”
Sanwo-Olu noted the situation of unequal distribution of vaccines in which richer nations secured more doses than the size of their populations and are preparing to roll out booster shots.
, while poorer countries struggled to administer first doses, threatening the global efforts to end the pandemic.
He said vaccine equity remained the only path to toe by world leaders to end the pandemic. To do this, the Governor said the world must ensure that vaccines were available to all, especially poorer countries that had struggled with supply.