The President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has called for global vaccine solidarity and justice for Africa.
At the launch of the bank’s African Economic Outlook 2021 report held recently, Adesina decried the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines reaching Africa.
“We need global solidarity and vaccine justice for Africa,” Adesina said in a statement released by the AfDB.
He expressed worry that several rich countries had acquired sufficient vaccines to inoculate their populations twice over, yet Africa had only got one per cent of what it needed.
Adesina was quoted as saying, “So far, 14.6 million vaccines have been delivered in Africa, but many people still cannot get shots in their arms. That is only one per cent of what we need.
“We are way off the mark in terms of getting to 60 per cent of herd immunity, and sadly, I do not see that happening for another year or two at this rate, not unless things change.
“We, therefore, need to improve Africa’s access to vaccines. COVAX is doing a great job but still, we need more. We need them in adequate quantities. We need them quickly and we need them at an affordable price.”
The AfDB said as long as Africans remained unvaccinated, the world would go right back to square one.
However, he said no amount of “vaccine passports” being advocated for by some developed countries could change that fact.
“Africa needs to develop its pharmaceutical industry and begin manufacturing. The African Development Bank is going to support African countries to do this,” Adesina added.
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