Freshly minted Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has cautioned countries especially the advanced and vaccine exporting ones that vaccine nationalism would not help the world exit the coronavirus pandemic challenge.
She gave the warning during a press event shortly after her emergence.
She said actually it is normal for countries to think of taking care of themselves and excluding others. But this time, such nationalistic and exclusive thinking won’t help
“I have been in politics sometime as the finance minister of my country and I know that naturally, a politician or government would focus on its own citizens. This is natural and normal.
But this is a case of worldwide threat
So by the time a country takes care of her citizens and opens her doors to mingle with the world, people who are still vulnerable would travel in and bring in the infection
So the best is that while some countries might not have the means to make their vaccines, there should be an arrangement by the World Health Organization through the COVAX to enable some countries manufacture the invented vaccines locally while still taking care of the intellectual property rights of the trademark owners
That will help make the availability more assured while the WTO will work out a means of making sure the trade and movement of the vaccines is not hindered.”