President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on rich countries to stop hoarding Covid-19 vaccines unnecessarily.
Ramaphosa was addressing the virtual World Economic Forum’s “Davos Dialogue” on Tuesday.
“There is just no need for a country which perhaps has about 40 million people, to go and acquire 120 million doses of vaccine or even 160 million and yet the world needs access to those vaccines,” said Ramaphosa.
He said there was a huge concern about countries that were “nationalising” vaccines.
“The rich countries of the world went out and acquired large doses of vaccine from the developers and manufactures of these vaccines and some countries even gone beyond and acquired up to four times their population need and that was aimed at hoarding these vaccines.”
Ramaphosa said these countries were doing this in exclusion of other countries in the world that needed vaccines the most.
He also lauded the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) efforts in setting up the Covax facility and pleaded with rich countries to release extra vaccines.
“We needed to agglomerate all our acquisition processes so that there can be equity in the distribution and in the access to these vaccines. Now rich countries in the world are holding on to these vaccines and we are saying release the excess vaccines that you have ordered and hoarded,” Ramaphosa said.