President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to world leaders that only equitable access and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines can protect the world from the menace of the disease.
Since it was detected in China in December 2019, COVID-19 has infected over 51 million people globally, killing over 1.2 million.
Of the over 200 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed across the world, a breakthrough was announced on Monday, November 9, 2020.
Drug manufacturing giant, Pfizer, announced that early data from its vaccine shows an efficacy rate higher than 90%, drawing commendations from world leaders.
In his reaction late on Monday, Buhari described the breakthrough as a ‘major milestone in medical advance’.
He, however, warned that the world must unite to ensure that vaccines get around to everyone in a fair manner.
“Only a People’s Vaccine with equality and solidarity at its core can protect all of humanity and get our societies safely running again.
“A bold international agreement cannot wait,” he was quoted by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
A certified COVID-19 vaccine is expected to attract a scramble from many of the countries whose socioeconomic activities have been severely impacted by the novel disease.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the new vaccine, but it has reportedly been tested on 43,500 people in six countries with no safety issues recorded.
The vaccine has been tested on people in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and Turkey.
According to reports, the data shows that two doses, applied three weeks apart, are needed for one person.
Pfizer and BioNTech, joint developers of the vaccine, plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of November.
They are also projecting to be able to supply 50 million doses by the end of 2020 and around 1.3 billion by the end of 2021.