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COVID-19: Vaccine can be successful in Nigeria

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covid-19: Bill Gates calls for funding from G-20 members to develop vaccine

Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has said that vaccine can be successful in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Cable, Gates recalled how the fear of polio vaccine was eradicated in Nigeria.

The billionaire said that with the cooperation of the media, political and religious leaders, the fear of COVID-19 vaccines can be eradicated.

He said, “There are rumours that vaccines do kill children because you have like participation in measles vaccines campaigns go down or you have kids not getting their routine immunisation and it is very sad that the best life-saving tool ever invented, that these rumours make mothers not seek them out with their children. We had this problem with polio vaccines in 2003. But then, fortunately, a lot of trusted religious leaders, the Sultan of Sokoto, the Emir of Kano, set an example themselves and really got the word out that they’ve studied these vaccines, and in fact they were there to stop kids from being crippled and that they were very very safe. So when the coronavirus vaccine comes along, you’d have the evidence from other countries about their impact and we’d need the trust of leaders from the country; media, political, religious, sports, business, whoever, to speak up so that enough people take the vaccine and the disease goes away.

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“I have to say this, I am very impressed with what Aliko Dangote has done, put together the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), and elsewhere in Africa, there is Strive Masiyiwa East African medicine supply platform which has got very effective drugs like dexamethasone. There are very good things going on… when the vaccine comes we’d have to ask African leaders what their plan is. The experience with polio, which we did achieve… Vaccines can be successful in Nigeria.”

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