Okonjo-Iweala assures Nigeria access to COVID-19 vaccine

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has assured Nigeria and other African countries of access to COVID-19 vaccines as from the end of January through the first quarter of 2021.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday quoted Okonjo-Iweala after a closed-door meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama in Abuja.

“As long as one person has it in the world, no one is safe. And that is why poorer countries, lower-middle-income countries like Nigeria, need to get it as quickly as possible”, she was quoted as saying.

Okonjo-Iweala is currently the African Union Special Envoy on mobilising international economic support for the continental fight against COVID-19. She is also Nigeria’s candidate for the Office of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

She disclosed that the international initiative involved the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI and the international community, to get vaccines delivered to developing and poorer countries, in an affordable manner and quickly.

According to her, the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca were presently being negotiated so that poor countries don’t have to stand in a queue behind rich countries.

The former finance minister described Africans as blessed, for not having the same incidence rate of COVID-19 like other continents, but warned African nations against complacency.


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