The Chairman of the Nasarawa West Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Nasarawa State, Rev. Bulus Joshua, has called for increased vaccine production across the continent to fight Covid-19 and future pandemics.
Joshua made this call in Abuja during the Vaccinate Our World (VOW) engagement with religious leaders to address Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and global vaccine inequity organised by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and NENERELA.
Rev Joshua said with current vaccine production ramped up to maximum levels, vaccine manufacturers are still unable to meet the demand for life-saving Covid-19 doses.
He said: “If the world is to fight this and future pandemics, vaccine production must be increased across every continent.
“A handful of pharmaceutical companies simply cannot be relied upon for vaccinating the entire world.”
He called on leaders to waive or suspend all Covid-19 vaccine patents during the global public health emergency.
“Covid-19 vaccines are primarily funded by taxpayers – not pharmaceutical companies.
“We must call for all vaccine manufacturers to openly share their technology and intellectual property-and for governments to ensure Covid-19 vaccines are declared a public good.
“We can look at past examples, such as the AIDS epidemic and save the world the way we did with antiretroviral medicines for HIV.
Health Committee Member of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Habiba Umar, called for elimination of all restrictions on the sharing of information and data- epidemic and save the world.
She said 100 per cent transparency is needed to achieve the set goals.
The Covid-19 Pandemic is in its Third year following unprecedented Global lockdowns in the World for much of 2020 and the emergence of many variants of the Virus prominent among them the Omicron variant which is now devastating much of China with over 180 Million people now in strict lockdown.
This is despite the record production of Vaccines to tackle the Virus across the World.
The Lockdowns has led to Economic meltdown in much of the world that is still to abate.