South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has accused the rich countries of the world of buying COVID-19 vaccines in bulk and storing them.
Ramaphosa, speaking at the Virtual World Economic Forum said “vaccine nationalism” is happening and the big countries of the world are self-serving.
The developing countries of the world are being shoved aside, with the wealthier nations buying “up to four times what their population needs,”
“We are concerned about vaccine nationalism,” he said.
“Rich countries in the world are holding on to these vaccines and we are saying: release the excess vaccines that you have ordered and hoarded.”
Ramaphosa’s comments underline growing disenchantment in developing countries of the world as vaccine producers give the big nations privileges.
The World Health Organisation has reiterated the need for an end to vaccine nationalism. Its Director General, Dr. Tedros Gebreyessus revealed that developed countries had 39.2 vaccine doses already given while 25 was given to people in low income countries.
The WHO had also previously warned about price gouging.
Gebreyessus told the rich countries to hand over their excess vaccines to the COVAX facility.
South Africa, worst-hit in Africa is expecting 1.5million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII).
It will pay more than what EU nations are paying, with the European bloc coming out to say it funded vaccine development and will buy at cheaper rates.
South Africa is expected to inoculate a third of its population of 60million people.
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