African Union (AU)leaders have slammed rich countries hoarding vaccines at the expense of the poor.
The issues were raised at a virtual meeting/webinar on the Africa COVID-19 Vaccine Financing and Deployment Strategy.
Dr. John Nkengasong on behalf of the AU Chairperson said preserving vaccines for the privileged and well resourced “threatens the very founding premise of the United Nations, that of the equal rights of men and women of nations large and small; and faith in the dignity and worth of every human person.”
These sentiments were echoed by the AU Chair President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“It is disappointing that developing economies on the continent was facing challenges in accessing vaccines when considering that a number of clinical trials for the same vaccines were carried out on the continent,” said Ramaphosa.
High-level representatives from the continent, including Ministers of Health and Finance, AU Member States, and business leaders, civil society, and the continental scientific community attended the webinar.
The COVID-19 African Vaccine Task Team has managed to secure a provisional 270 million doses for African countries and has also received offers of an additional 400 million vaccine doses.