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FG decries continued disparity in distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

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• Buhari seeks international collaboration against impact on struggling economies
• Lagos urged to build resilience for future challenges

The Federal Government has described the continued disparity in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as ‘unfair’ and appealed to friendly countries to donate them to Nigeria from their surplus.

It argued that the allocation of vaccines from friendly countries was most useful to Nigeria presently and not when they become widely available.

A total of 10,027 cases of mild Adverse Events Following Vaccination (AEFI) have been reported in the country as of Sunday, May 30, 2021, while 86 cases of moderate to severe incidents have been reported, all of who have fully recovered.

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Cross River State with 1,040 cases, Kaduna (1,071), Lagos (796), Yobe (555) and Kebbi (525) had the highest records of AEFI. Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, lamented that some countries have more doses of vaccine than they need, whereas several African and Asian countries were still struggling to get their first doses for their citizens.

Shuaib said bilateral talks were ongoing on how the country could access the surplus vaccines developed countries were keeping and was working with Nigerian embassies and high commissions.

He noted that on the global vaccine supply and exoected next consignment, the Covax facility had communicated that the allocation would likely be between July and September this year, but the exact date was are still being finalised. Shuaib revealed that as at yesterday, 1,956,598 of eligible Nigerians have been jabbed with their first dose of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine and of this number, 66 per cent were frontline workers, 22 per cent healthcare workers, while 12 per cent were the elderly.

He stated that 73,465 Nigerians have also received their second doses in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

BESIDES, President Muhammadu Buhari has canvassed joint international collaboration to tackle the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on struggling economies that would require a global framework to ameliorate burden of citizens and reignite growth.

He stated this while receiving letters of credence from the ambassadors of the Republic of Bulgaria, Yanko Yordanou, People’s Republic of China, Cui Jianchun, High Commissioner of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Muhammad Tayyab Azan, Republic of Turkey, Hidayet Bayraktar and Ukrainian envoy, Valerii Kirdoda, at the State House, Abuja.

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“As you all settle down to your duties to promote your national values and interests through your countries’ foreign policy on Nigeria, rest assured that Nigeria will engage you, as we all strive to relate through effective cooperation and collaboration to enhance our collective interests.

“As we are all aware, the pre-COVID-19 era was faced with the challenge of attaining sustainable development. Some countries were faced with additional challenges like securing their territorial integrity against violent non-state actors,” he stated.
MEANWHILE, Lagos State Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, has advocated that the state should organise resilience sensitisation workshop for directors and officials to imbibe resilience culture in government programmes and projects.

He said the recent outbreak of CIVID-19 and #ENDSARS protests were testimonials of Lagos resilience, adding that there was the need to build on the effort by imbibing resilience culture in its activities, projects and programmes.

He said in spite of the devastation and economic downturn occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns, Lagos State overcame the challenges.

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