President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged First World countries to do more to help address vaccine inequity.

During the Covid-19 World Summit last week, Ramaphosa urged developed countries to assist developing countries to produce their own vaccines.

He says although African countries are grateful for the millions of doses of covid-19 vaccines, donated to them, more needs to be done to immediately increase access to the vaccines.

He says sharing vaccine knowledge and technology is one of the easiest ways to address vaccine inequity.

Access the full Global Covid-19 Summit briefing here.

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WHO Director for Africa, r. Matshidiso Moeti says countries that have started administering booster-shots of the Covid-19 vaccine, are making a mockery of vaccine equity.

Moeti criticized first-world countries for, instead of donating their excess doses of vaccines to poor countries, inoculating their citizens with their third and sometimes fourth dose.

She says it is unacceptable that only 2% of Africa’s total population have been vaccinated, while young people in Europaen countries are now getting vaccinated.

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Exporting millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from South Africa, adds to vaccine-colonialism.

This, according to a consortium of civil society and health organisations which this week reacted to a New York Times report that millions of doses of the J&J vaccine, produced in the Eastern Cape, are being exported to other parts of the World.

It is not only South Africa that is pulling at the short end of the agreement with Johnson and Johnson but also other African countries.

Professor Matthew Kavanaugh, of the Georgetown University in the USA, says the whole incident is a repeat of history, where European countries and companies put their own people first.

Kavanaugh says if this continues happening, vaccine inequity would continue occurring.

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The World Health Organization has called for an international Pandemic Treaty – to be signed by all its member states – to ensure that future pandemics are better planned for and dealt with.

During its 74th annual World Health Assembly, the WHO Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus said the lack of sharing of information, resources and vaccines has been the driving force behind the renewed spike in Covid-19 infections seen around the World.

Ghebreyesus urged countries to agree to and sign up for such an agreement as soon as possible, to ensure that there is more solidarity and co-operation in fighting future pandemics.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says an effective and comprehensive global vaccination strategy is vital to ending the Covid-19 pandemic.

He addressed delegates during the 74th World Health Assembly this week and said the pandemic not only laid bare the shortcomings of many healthcare systems but also highlighted the extent to which all countries are connected.

Ramaphosa again called for more vaccine-doses to be made available, as a matter of urgency to ensure that more people, globally, get vaccinated.

He says the pandemic’s negative economic and social effects would, in the long run, be felt in every country across the World.

He also urged vaccine-production to be significantly increased.

Ramaphosa says more robust pandemic response systems globally.

 

The President also boasted on how well South Africa responded to the pandemic over the past year.

He says planning for future pandemics should start now.

Read his full statement here.

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