Since the world had to accept living with coronavirus, for the time being, scientists had to come up with ways for people to survive and keep on continuing with their normal lives amid the disease. The best solution that they came up with was the invention of the Covid-19 vaccines. Countries in the Western world have started producing vaccines, such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. They did this to protect themselves from the virus. Some states helped the African continent with the first and second doses.
However, there is inequity in vaccine distribution for a variety of reasons, including vaccine manufacturers hoarding vaccines. The poor states in Africa are not receiving enough Covid-19 vaccines and they can’t allow their people to die. For this reason, the continent has to find its own solution and be accountable for its people’s health.
What is the way forward for Africa?
Firstly, the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) has commissioned a professional team to oversee the vaccine production process on the African continent. During the summit, some experts advocated for the continent to gather resources (approximately $250-$300 million) and begin producing and exporting Covid-19 vaccines rather than importing and relying on other countries.The University of Nairobi is among the 17 universities that will play a key role in ensuring that the process succeeds.
The WHO intends to launch a Covid-19 vaccine initiative in South Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is in talks to establish the first-ever Covid-19 vaccine tech transfer hub in South Africa, which would increase supply to the African region, which is in desperate need of doses.
Biovac and Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, as well as a network of universities and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, will be part of the new consortium. They will establish training facilities for other vaccine makers to make shots that use the spike protein’s genetic code, called mRNA vaccines.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization director-general, said:
“I am delighted to announce that the WHO is in talks with a consortium of companies and institutions to build a technology transfer hub in SA. In time, Afrigen could provide training to other manufacturers in Africa and beyond. “
Many people are hoping that this initiative will help reduce inequalities in vaccine access. Less than 1 percent of the over 1 billion anti-Covid doses administered globally have been in low-income states.
With dozens of countries desperate for more vaccine doses after the COVAX initiative, an UN-backed plan to distribute vaccines to poor states, faltered in recent months, the WHO has been trying to persuade rich states to donate vaccines once their most vulnerable populations have received the vaccinations.
What did Cyril Ramaphosa say?
Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African President, is delighted with the creation of this tech transfer hub.
“This is a great step. We just cannot continue to depend on vaccines that are made outside of the continent because they never come, they never arrive on time and people continue to lose their lives. “
President Cyril Ramaphosa also stated that the African region will soon be able to take responsibility for its own people’s health. However, new factories may take a long time to start producing Covid-19 vaccines, and some African countries, such as SA and Zambia, are already dealing with an increase in new contaminations.
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