Omicron: Lai Mohammed says U.S., UK, other advanced economies hoarded COVID-19 vaccines

Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed says only equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines by all countries will ensure eradication of the pandemic.

Mr Mohammed made this call in Madrid, Spain on Wednesday during 24th General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), statement by ministry of information and culture stated.

The minister blamed the UK, U.S. and other advanced economies for hijacking the most doses of COVID-19 vaccines available, leaving poorer countries with little or no supplies.

”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,” Mr Mohammed said.

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

Mr Mohammed spoke against the backdrop of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 which is spreading across the globe. He said that Nigeria and other developing countries have been left behind in the vaccines drive.

“Whereas most developed countries have already vaccinated 60 per cent and above of their population, most developing countries are currently below five per cent. My country, Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, has just vaccinated only about three per cent of our population,” Mr Mohammed said.