Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, have called for vaccine equity, adding that vaccine equity is the only way to end the scourge occasioned by COVID-19.
They spoke at the Global Citizen Live concert held in Lagos at the weekend.
The concert was organised live simultaneously by Global Citizen to galvanise support to tackle vaccine inequality, poverty, climate change among, others.
The governor stated that to end or reduce the spread of the deadly disease, the government must ensure that vaccines are available to all, especially poorer countries that have had to struggle with supply.
Sanwo-Olu said the state was proud to be part of the Global Citizen’s 2021 Global Campaign focused on a recovery plan for the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic reeled out statistics to show the number of vaccinated people in Lagos in particular and Nigeria, in general, disclosed Nigeria has administered about 4,171,989 doses of both AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.
He however lamented that only 1,734,103 (1.7%) of the entire population had received a second dose of the vaccine.
His words, “Unequal distribution of vaccines, where richer nations have secured more doses than the size of their populations and are now considering and preparing to roll out booster shots, while poorer countries struggle to administer first doses, threaten efforts to end the pandemic for everyone everywhere.
He said, “Vaccine equity is the only way for the pandemic to end for all of us and to do this we must ensure that vaccines are available to all, especially poorer countries that have had to struggle with supply.”
The governor hinted that the state government’s proposal was to reserve and administer 50 per cent of the vaccines procured in partnership with the private sector to be made available free of charge at government health centres.
In a related development, the Finance Minister, Ahmed, while commending and celebrating Global Citizens around the world stated that as they work towards pandemic management and recovery, it is clear that the government’s progress relies on recognizing the inter-sectionality of the challenges.
She said, “Through various initiatives we have deployed tools to scale social safety net programmes, to mitigate the risk of children – particularly girls – not returning to school, and to support small businesses and safeguard jobs.
Earlier, Global Citizen Co-Founder and CEO, Hugh Evans, had restated its commitment to ending the challenges facing the world.
“There is a light at the end of this tunnel, but getting vaccines to everyone, everywhere regardless of who they are or where they are from, is key to ensuring the end of this pandemic around the world. We must all unite to get back on track to eradicating extreme poverty,” he said