COVID-19 calls for a less expensive vaccine – Botchwey

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has reiterated calls for a concerted effort by the international community to combat the COVID-19 pandemic including the need for an inclusive vaccine which is readily available for every country regardless of their economic endowment.

At a farewell call on her by the ambassador of the Republic of Italy to Ghana, Giovanni Favilli, on Thursday, 2nd June 2020, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey Whilst commiserating with the Government of Italy over the huge loss of lives in Italy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic expressed her happiness at how the Italian Government has managed to bring the pandemic under control, leading to the rapid easing of restrictions coupled with other preventive measures.

However, the minister is of the view that the ravages of pandemic calls for Italy and other European countries to concede that COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge that requires concerted efforts by the international community to combat and the need to join forces with the inclusive vaccine alliance, an initiative that supports the European Commission’s call for global leaders to cooperate and buy bulk quantities of potential COVID-19 vaccines for European countries and the rest of the world, in order to avoid harmful competition for vaccines by individual advanced countries, an action that could raise the prices of vaccines and create difficulties in developing countries also obtaining supply.

“It was scary to read the reports of how it (COIVD-19) ravaged your country and I’m happy also to note that today we can say that it is under control and you have done a great job in battling it. We ask that as part of the inclusive vaccine alliance, you will also be an advocate for Africa that these vaccines when they come on stream will not be too expensive to countries that are less endowed to be able to buy.”

She also expressed hopes that “we (Ghana) are all like other countries such as yours waiting earnestly for a vaccine to come so that we will also, be able as developing countries to obtain supplies of it.

The outgoing Italian ambassador Giovanni Favilli, who is completing his tour of duty after presenting his credentials to former President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday, 4th October 2016 assured that his country will closely collaborate with Ghana in the fight against the pandemic.

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