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Pfizer commits to provide both current, future vaccines to 1.2bn people in 45 lower income countries

By Ijeoma Nwanosike
09 June 2022   |   2:48 am
Pfizer announced its new commitment to providing vaccines, both current and future vaccines, on a non-profit basis to 1.2 billion people living in the 45 lower-income countries

Medical Director, Bridge Clinic, Dr. Toyin Ajayi (left); General Manager, Rose Ogbeche; Head of Clinic, Lagos, Dr. Tunde Ogunniran; Ambassadors, Mrs. Emekwe Ifeoma; Mrs. Ifeyinwa Kpajie, Mrs. Efang Abang, Head, Counselor and, Fertility Doctor, Dr. Olayinka Ayo during the Bridge Clinic, world Fertility day and 3,000 live Births Celebration in Lagos at the weekend. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

Pfizer announced its new commitment to providing vaccines, both current and future vaccines, on a non-profit basis to 1.2 billion people living in the 45 lower-income countries including all 27 low-income countries as well as all 18 countries that have transitioned from low income to lower-middle-income classification in the last 10 years.

The announcement, for an accord for a healthier world, was made at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF), on May 25, 2022, in Davos, Switzerland. The initiative for a healthier world called for the need to close the health equity gap in today’s world.

Chairman of Pfizer, Dr. Albert Bourla, remarked that it’s time to create a healthier world by leaving no stone unturned in closing the health equity gap especially due to the recent events of global outbreaks in the last two years and more.

Bourla explained that ensuring the supply of medicines and vaccines is just the first step, therefore, the initiative calls for collaborations with global health leaders to help make improvements in other aspects such as diagnosis, logistics, education, infrastructure, and other things that affect the use of the medicines.

He said, “Only when these obstacles have been overcome can we bring an end to health care inequalities and deliver breakthroughs for all.”

The government of Rwanda, Malawi, Ghana, Senegal, and Uganda have already committed to working with the initiative especially to provide early insights on what is working, and what is not and identify opportunities for improvements as well as ensure the medicines and vaccines get those in need of it.

The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, pointed out that the accord for a healthier world is an important step towards health security for countries of all income levels and expressed that his country is happy to play its part together with partner countries in making sure the initiative becomes a reality.

Kagame advised that this new commitment under the according programme sets a new standard for emulation. In his words: “A new standard which we hope to be emulated by others combined with additional investment in strengthening Africa’s public health system and pharmaceutical regulators.”

The initiative has also made huge progress in partnership with Bill & Melina Gates Foundation in their efforts to develop other vaccines for future use in countries of lower-income. The Co-chair of Bill Gates pointed out that their primary focus since the year 2000, the beginning of the foundation, is to improve health equity.

However, the accord for a healthier world, calls to action: the government, global leaders, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), communities, development organisations and financial institutions to join hands in bringing the world closer to health equity and hence, a healthier world.