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President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has called for the “uninhibited supply of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines for all” while addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Buhari warned that if the United Nations can’t marshal an inclusive response to the pandemic, then it “would have failed in its core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.”

African nations have been outspoken in seeking the equitable distribution of any COVID-19 vaccine, while watching anxiously as some of the world’s richest countries strike deals with pharmaceutical companies to secure millions of doses of potential vaccines.

The World Health Organisation has said Africa should receive at least 220 million doses through an international effort to develop and distribute a vaccine known as COVAX.

But Africa’s top public health official has said the continent needs at least 1.5 billion doses, enough to cover 60 per cent of the population for “herd immunity” with the two likely required doses.

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