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Nigerian govt fears outbreak of more dangerous COVID-19 variants



The Federal Government has warned about the potential for future outbreak of more dangerous variants of the COVID-19 virus due to vaccine inequality and inaccessibility especially in developing countries.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Madrid, Spain at the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) on Sunday.

The statement was made available to the media by Mr Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture.

Mohammed warned that lack of vaccination by developing countries would provide a fertile ground for the COVID-19 virus to mutate, thus threatening the progress already recorded even in the developed countries.

“Whereas most developed countries had already vaccinated 60 per cent and above of their population, most developing countries were currently below five per cent.

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“My country Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, has just vaccinated only about three per cent of our population.

“Slow and delayed vaccination rollout in low and middle-income countries had left many of them vulnerable to COVID-19 variants, new surges of infection and slower rate of recovery,” he noted.

Lai further criticised some developed countries who used the advantage of their enormous resources or relationship to sign agreements with manufacturers to supply their countries with vaccines ahead of making them available for use by other countries.

”Even before the clinical trials were completed, millions of doses of the most promising vaccines have been bought by Britain, U. S., Japan and the European block countries. Some of these countries bought doses five times the size of their population.

“There are fears that these unilateral deals will deprive the poorest countries of access to these life-saving commodities,” he said.

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