WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and a group of global health leaders have issued an urgent call for vaccine equity globally and in Africa in particular. The leaders stressed that the worst pandemic in the last hundred years will not end unless and until, there is genuine global cooperation on vaccine supply and access. They also reiterated the WHO’s global vaccination target for 70% of the population of all countries to be vaccinated by mid-2022.
“More than 5.7 billion doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of those have been administered in Africa. This doesn’t only hurt the people of Africa, it hurts all of us. The longer vaccine inequity persists, the more the virus will keep circulating and changing, the longer the social and economic disruption will continue, and the higher the chances that more variants will emerge that render vaccines less effective,” said Dr Tedros.
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Dr John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Director said, “We will not be able to achieve 60% of our population fully immunised if we do not fully explore and deploy the power of partnership, the power of cooperation, and the power of solidarity. We all have acknowledged now that vaccines are the only solution for us to get out of this pandemic collectively. That has to be done quickly.”