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Rich countries vaccinate low-risk population while Africa waits and dies – MSF

7 April 2021 12:59 PM

"The Economist projects that most Africans will only receive full vaccinations by the end of 2023," warns Doctors Without Borders.

Immediate equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines is critical for Southern Africa and the world to prevent more suffering and death

It is critical that Southern Africa immediately get access to Covid-19 vaccines, says Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Members of various civil societies gathered outside the embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Brazil, and other countries which opposed a temporary patent waiver on COVID-19 vaccines which was proposed to the World Trade Organization by South Africa and India. Picketers stood outside embassies and handed over letters calling on these countries to support the TRIPS Waiver to allow for more drug manufacturers to have access to vaccine designs. TADEU ANDRE/MSF

READ: Immediate equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines is critical for Southern Africa and the world to prevent more suffering and death - Médecins Sans Frontières


“Urgent action is required of leaders of wealthy nations, pharmaceutical corporations and COVAX before it is too late,” says MSF.

“What we are witnessing right now is an unacceptable failure of humanity and the global response,” says MSF’s Claire Waterhouse.

“We denounce countries that hoard vaccines and who have started to immunise low-risk groups since it comes at the expense of developing countries who haven’t even started vaccinating frontline healthcare workers in health facilities already stretched to the breaking point.”

MSF is urging Big Pharma to stop bilateral agreements that would over-supply wealthy nations hoarding vaccines in order to prioritise the supply of vaccines to the COVAX facility or bilateral deals for countries yet to vaccinate their healthcare workers and high-risk groups.

Amy MacIver interviewed Kate Stegeman, Access Campaign Advocacy Coordinator in South Africa at MSF South Africa.

We are massively concerned that countries are hoarding vaccines… Canada has ordered five times what they need… These same countries… are banning the export of raw materials to make vaccines…

Kate Stegeman, Access Campaign Advocacy Coordinator in South Africa - MSF South Africa

Canada, the US, and the EU have blocked negotiations for the waiver of intellectual property…

Kate Stegeman, Access Campaign Advocacy Coordinator in South Africa - MSF South Africa

… The Economist projects that certain poor countries, specifically in Africa, are only going to receive full vaccinations by the end of 2023… It’s not in any way acceptable! …

Kate Stegeman, Access Campaign Advocacy Coordinator in South Africa - MSF South Africa

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




7 April 2021 12:59 PM

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