Vaccine Sharing Only Way Out – Africa Europe Foundation

Vaccine Sharing Only Way Out – Africa Europe Foundation
South Africa has embarked on its phase two Covid-19 vaccination programme

Rich nations have been warned that the only way to be truly safe from Covid-19 is to share vaccines with poorer countries.

With rich nations having vaccinated more than a third of their populations, the world is no closer to controlling the pandemic. Infections across the world are now accelerating faster than ever.

Death rates remain high with more than five million new cases.

Restrictions on movement and lockdowns can limit transmission, but without equitable, global vaccination schemes, the world will not see an end to this pandemic.

The Africa Europe Foundation last week urged national governments and the pharmaceutical sector to prioritise vaccine sharing.

“The only way out of this situation is making sure that vaccines and treatments are available to everyone, regardless of where and how they live,” said the foundation in a statement.

“Having vaccinated 30% or more of their populations, several high-income countries are beginning to lift the restrictions on daily life and open their economies.

“However, fewer than one in 100 people in low-income countries have received a first dose.”

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) has described the situation as “a graphic display of global inequality”.

African countries have few options for procuring approved vaccines.

Yet again Africa is at the back of the line when it comes to medical supplies.

But the foundation said there was a historic opportunity to break this paradigm.

“The political commitment to building regional capacity to manufacture medicines and supplies is there and initial financing is earmarked by the World Bank,” said the statement.

“However, one of the key remaining barriers is intellectual property (IP) and the technology required for manufacturing vaccines.”