South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has accused developed countries of acting immodestly by hoarding vaccines needed in third-world nations.
In an address to the Global Covid-19 Summit, Ramaphosa said; “Of around 6bn doses administered worldwide, only 2% of these have been administered in Africa, which has a population of 1.2bn. This must be unjust and it is also immoral.”
The World Health Organisation has set a deadline for countries to vaccinate 10% of their population by the end of September, yet only one out of five African countries will meet that target. Meanwhile, wealthier nations such as the UK and US have fully vaccinated more than 50% of their populations and are considering prospects of booster shots.
On his part, South African-born biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong will announce a plan to transfer technology for the manufacture of Covid-19 and cancer vaccines to South Africa. Soon-Shiong, who has a net worth of $11bn according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, made his fortune after inventing cancer drug Abraxane in the US.
Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks signed a collaboration deal with South African government’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the South African Medical Research Council and the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation. Three local universities are also party to the agreement.
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