Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says vaccine nationalism will hinder efforts to restart the tourism sector which was badly affected by COVID-19 Pandemic.
Mohammed made this known on Monday in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi state, in his address to mark the World Tourism Day.
Vaccine nationalism is when powerful countries pre-order vaccines from pharmaceutical companies, even before production, at the detriment of other countries.
The minister called on rich countries to embrace equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
He said: “Today, rich countries are able to procure vaccines for their own citizens through direct agreements with pharmaceutical companies,”
“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.”