Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
31 Jul 2021
12:00 am

Africa is ready to vaccinate but vaccines unavailable, says WHO

Citizen Reporter

World's rich countries blamed for an unjust distribution of vaccines.

Aspen CEO Stephen Saad says everyone should get vaccinated to slow the spread of Covid-19. Picture: Gallo Images

Many African countries have prepared well to roll out vaccines, but the vaccines have not arrived, that is an assertion by the World Health organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Ghebreyesus was addressing a media briefing on Friday about the global pandemic of Covid-19.

He lambastsed global power countries of an unjust distribution of vaccines.

“All regions are at risk, but none more so than Africa,” said Ghebreyesus.

“Less than 2% of all doses administered globally have been in Africa. Just 1.5% of the continent’s population are fully vaccinated.”

“On current trends, nearly 70% of African countries will not reach the 10% vaccination target by the end of September.”

Ghebreyesus has since warned that the world was at a brink of a catastrophic moral failure.

“The price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”

“Every government rightly wants to do everything it can to protect its people. But there is now a real risk that the poorest & most vulnerable will be trampled in the stampede for vaccines,“ explained Ghebreyesus.

“So far, just over half of countries have fully vaccinated 10% of their population, less than a quarter of countries have vaccinated 40%, and only 3 countries have vaccinated 70%”

He said the the WHO’s goal remains to support every country to vaccinate at least 10% of its population by the end of September, and at least 40% by the end of this year, as well as 70% by the middle of next year. 

“We are a long way off achieving those targets,” said.

Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa warmed the 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.

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“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.

Compiled by Siyanda Ndlovu