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Sanwo-Olu advocates COVID-19 vaccine equity at global citizen live concert

By Tope Templer Olaiya
26 September 2021   |   4:19 am
Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called on world leaders to work towards equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution to people everywhere — especially in the world’s poorest countries.

Chairman, Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF), Babatunde Folawiyo (left); Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Vice Chairman of NSSF, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; and Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank Plc., Herbert Wigwe at the Global Citizen Live concert in celebration of frontline and essential workers in the battle against COVID-19 held at the New Afrika Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos… yesterday

Targets 30% Vaccination Rate In Lagos By 2022 Q1

Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called on world leaders to work towards equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution to people everywhere — especially in the world’s poorest countries. 
   
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke at the Global Citizen Live event held yesterday in celebration of healthcare workers who are at the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic, also restated the state’s commitment to prioritising vaccine equity among its entire population.  
   
Global Citizen Live is part of a once-in-a-generation day of unity with artistes, celebrities and world leaders coming together to create change and impact climate and poverty. 

   
The 24-hour broadcast event featured performances and speeches from locations around the world, including Lagos, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Sydney and more. 
   
A-list Nigerian artistes including Femi Kuti, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Made Kuti and Seun Kuti all performed at the Lagos show hosted by TV personalities, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and Nancy Isime.  
   
In his address to the global audience, Sanwo-Olu noted: “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. 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.
   
“Nigeria has only administered about 4,171,989 doses of both AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines. However, only 1,734,103 (1.7%) of the entire population have received a second dose of the vaccine,” the Lagos Governor noted.  
   
To safely achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, a substantial proportion of a population would need to be vaccinated to lower the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population. Sanwo-Olu stressed that it is important that the world’s most populous black country and, indeed, the mega-city Lagos, achieves herd immunity at the same time with all countries.
   
“In Lagos State, 405,000 persons have received the first dose of Astra Zeneca and of these 289,000 have had their second dose. For Moderna, we have administered the first dose to 230,000 persons. This gives us about a 1.2 per cent herd immunity, which is far below the minimum WHO target of 60 per cent of the population. At the current rate, it would take about three years to achieve our herd immunity target of vaccination at least 60 per cent of our population. We cannot continue at this speed if we seriously want to beat this virus.” Sanwo-Olu also stated that Lagos will commit to prioritising vaccine equity among its entire population. “We plan to partner with the private sector—once again—to procure, store, distribute and administer vaccines across the state under the guidance of Federal and State Government laws. Our proposal is 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. With this approach, we expect to vaccinate 30 per cent of the population of Lagos State within one year. This will put us on a better and more sustainable path towards herd immunity.”

Earlier, Global Citizen Co-Founder and CEO, Hugh Evans, had said: “As a global community, we are in a race against time and the key to coming back together is the vaccine. We need to build vaccine confidence in the United States and globally, and encourage people to take the vaccine as quickly as possible. 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.” 

   
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, also reiterated the need for improved access to vaccines in ending the devastating effects of COVID-19.
   
“It is imperative that more resources are made available, that surpluses from wealthier nations are shared immediately with frontline workers in lower income countries and that the production of vaccines is accelerated. Considerable efforts have been made by the African Union envoy and it will take even greater international coordination and closer collaboration over the coming months to ensure that vaccines are made available to the world’s vulnerable people,” she said.  
     
Global Citizen Live is part of Global Citizen’s 2021 global campaign, a Recovery Plan for the World. The Recovery Plan focuses on five key objectives: ending COVID-19 for all, ending the hunger crisis, resuming learning for all, protecting the planet, and advancing equity for all.  
     
Global Citizen is the world’s largest movement of action takers and impact makers dedicated to ending extreme poverty by 2030.