The Latest: Nigeria urges vaccine to be available to all

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In this image made from UNTV video, Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at UN headquarters in New York. The U.N.'s first virtual meeting of world leaders started Tuesday with pre-recorded speeches from some of the planet's biggest powers, kept at home by the coronavirus pandemic that will likely be a dominant theme at their video gathering this year. (UNTV via AP)

TANZANIA – The Latest from the U.N. General Assembly (all times EDT):

8:15 p.m.

The president of Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, is calling for the “uninhibited supply of safe and effective coronavirus vaccines for all.”

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.

President Muhammadu Buhari warns 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.”

The U.N.’s health agency, the World Health Organization, 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% of the population for “herd immunity” with the two likely required doses.

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