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Vaccine nationalism will thwart efforts to restart tourism sector, says FG

The federal government has announced that vaccine nationalism will scuttle efforts to restart the tourism sector which was negatively impacted by COVID-19.

This was made known on Monday by minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed in Birnin-Kebbi state in his address to mark the World Tourism Day.

Vaccine nationalism is when rich countries pre-order vaccines from pharmaceutical companies, even before production, at the expense of other countries.

The minister said rich countries must embrace equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the tourism sector of developing and developed nations.

Mohammed said the restart of the tourism sector will facilitate the recovery and growth of the global economy.

“Today, rich countries are able to procure vaccines for their own citizens through direct agreements with pharmaceutical companies,” he said.

“On the other hand, low and middle income countries are lagging, unable to act as speedily as rich countries in securing the quantity of vaccines they need or unable to afford to pay for any at all.

“Whereas some rich countries are already talking of third booster shots, many low and middle-income countries have not even given one shot to their citizens.

“Added to this is the restriction placed on the citizens from certain countries by the rich nations.

“These restrictions, made possible by the use of vaccine passports, as well as the low level of vaccination in the low and middle income countries due to vaccine nationalism that has seen the rich ones mop up available vaccines, are capable of thwarting the efforts to restart tourism.

“It is therefore imperative for the rich countries of the world to retrace their steps and embrace a collective and equitable global strategy for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, procurement, and distribution.”

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