Nigeria’s federal government has been advised to allow COVID-19 vaccines from China to be administered in the country.
Though four COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in China and approved for use in about 100 countries, including 40 African countries, but Nigeria government who has a shortfall of the vaccines has still not allowed for administration of China vaccines in the country.
Speaking during the celebration of contributions of the media towards the growth of China/Nigeria Relations by the China Cultural Centre in Abuja on Thursday, the Editor-in-Chief of Diplomatic Extra, Mr. Raphael Oni said Nigeria needs to reconsider her stand by allowing vaccines from China to be administered in the country.
He noted that this has become essential as China has shown her willingness to donate these vaccines to Nigeria and against the backdrop that the country is still long way short of meeting the need of Nigerians.
He said he is surprised that Nigeria has continued to shun the gesture from China, especially since “to date, four Chinese vaccines have been approved for use in over 100 countries, including nearly 40 African countries, and two vaccines which are the Sinopharm and the Sinovac have also been included in the EUL and the COVAX procurement list.”
He said “the safety and effectiveness of Chinese vaccines have gained authoritative recognition internationally. China had offered over 700 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and concentrates for the world. China has always called for closer international cooperation on vaccines to ensure their accessibility and affordability in developing countries and to make them a global public good.”
Oni added that: “Despite its own huge population and tight vaccine supply, China has actively responded to other countries’ requests for vaccine cooperation, which has injected confidence and strength into the global fight against the pandemic.”
He however called on media practitioners to add their voices to the call on the Nigerian government to look into approval for the Chinese vaccines so that students can return to China, and business man and women can resume business trip to China so as to cushion some of the economic hardships already surfacing in the country.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Li Xuda has said the importance of journalists in the cordial relationship of China and Nigeria cannot be overlooked.
He noted that journalists have paid a prominent role in bringing veritable information about China to the Nigerian public and this has gone a long way for cultural integration, bilateral relations and economic growth.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja