(Nairobi) The African Union Health Authority on Thursday attacked world leaders who failed to keep their promises to share COVID-19 vaccines with the poorest populations as Africa faces a pandemic resurgence.
Posted on Sep 9, 2021 at 10:38 am
Across Africa, where the death toll exceeded 200,000 on Tuesday, the number of cases is rising alarmingly: More than 40 countries are experiencing a third wave, six are already struggling with a fourth, while life is back to normal in many rich countries thanks to higher countries Vaccination rates.
Out of a total of 1.3 billion people, only 3.18% of Africans are fully vaccinated. These delays can be explained by the lack of available doses, but also by the distrust of some population groups towards vaccines.
“We cannot politicize this situation further by making statements that do not lead to firm commitments,” said the director of the African Centers for Disease Control (Africa CDC), John Nkengasong.
“Promises don’t rain vaccines,” he said during an online press conference.
The G7 powers pledged to share 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines with developing countries in June, instead of the 130 million promised in February, in hopes of criticizing inequalities in access to vaccines.
The G7 plan also includes commitments to prevent future pandemics, such as reducing vaccine development and approval times, strengthening global surveillance and the World Health Organization (WHO).
But according to Mr. Nkengasong, the arrival of the promised doses in Africa has not yet taken place. “We haven’t seen a billion vaccines yet,” he said.
He denounces a “vaccination diplomacy in which people speak in the media who are not reflected in reality”.
The WHO on Wednesday urged rich countries to give priority to distributing first doses to health professionals and vulnerable populations in the poorest countries rather than reminding their own nationals (canned “boosters”).
It is estimated that Africa will need 1.5 billion doses of vaccine to immunize 60% of its population.
“We won’t win this war against the pandemic if we don’t vaccinate everyone quickly,” Nkengasong said. “Otherwise we have to prepare to live with this virus as an endemic disease. ”