January 28, 2022

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Amref Health Africa calls for patents and greater distribution of vaccines in Africa

Amref Health Africa calls for patents and greater distribution of vaccines in Africa

Madrid, 1 city. (European Press) –

Amref Health Africa has launched a global campaign to ‘end the injustice’ of a vaccine against COVID-19, titled #VacunaSolidaria.

In the face of travel restrictions imposed in South Africa, the NGO is calling for “an end to vaccine hoarding, the issuance of patents, the promotion of shared knowledge and the acceleration of vaccine distribution in Africa”.

Africa lags far behind the rest of the world in COVID-19 testing, immunization and treatment. Almost two years after the pandemic and more than 10 months since the first doses of the vaccine were given in high-income countries, African countries still do not have access to vaccines for nearly 1.4 billion people (17% of the world’s population).

In the meantime, they decried that “high-income countries are accumulating critical doses of vaccines and beginning to give booster doses to citizens who have already been vaccinated.”

“Vaccines must stop hoarding… so that all people can have equal access and protect the world. Let’s stop giving boosters, can you believe the total booster doses taken equal the total doses given? In Africa?”, the CEO of Amref claimed Health Africa, Githinji Gitahi.

According to the Africa CDC, less than 7 percent of Africans have been fully vaccinated, compared to more than 70 percent of the European Union population. Moreover, it is expected that by the end of 2021, high-income countries will have collected about 1.2 billion surplus vaccine doses, despite calls from international bodies to facilitate equitable access to vaccines and distribute resources to end the acute phase of the vaccine. pandemic.

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“In October 2021, only 5 out of 54 African countries were expected to reach the WHO’s goal of fully vaccinating 40 percent of their population by the end of the year. This means that Africa will likely be the last A stronghold of the COVID-19 pandemic if urgent action is not taken to address the persistent inequality in vaccines that has put us in such a precarious position,” Dr. Githai insisted.

In this sense, they warn that if the current vaccination rate continues, it will take three years to achieve mass immunity on the African continent.

“A time when the emergence of new variables threatens the progress made so far. Not only in Africa, but around the world. International action must focus on curbing vaccine hoarding by high-income countries, sharing patents on vaccines, and prioritizing vaccination in Africa over doses. The stimulant. We are calling for a global problem to be addressed globally. Otherwise, the pandemic will be with us for many Christmases.”