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General News of Monday, 25 January 2021

Source: sunnewsonline.com

Coronavirus: Buhari tasks ECOWAS on indigenous development of vaccines

President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari

Member states of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) have been urged to speed up efforts towards developing COVID-19 vaccines indigenous to the subregion.

President Muhammadu Buhari made the call at the ordinary summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, held virtual at the weekend saying it would help build herd immunities against the pandemic in West Africa.

Buhari, represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama,  said the first wave of the pandemic impacted the health and economy of the subregion negatively and warned that the second wave of the pandemic may have a greater impact on the region if proactive measures were not taken.

“Now that vaccines are soon to be available, I call on all member states to ensure that we prioritise the acquisition of the vaccines for our citizens while at the same time increasing efforts to develop our own vaccines so that we can build herd immunities against the COVID-19 pandemic in West Africa.”

Buhari also urged the ECOWAS Commission to work with the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) to assist member states in acquiring the vaccines and provide facilities to store and distribute the vaccines within the region.

The Federal Government is to receive about 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of January through COVAX.

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