Stop hijacking vaccines exports, scientists warn


Like pirates on high seas, developed nations are curtailing essential supply of COVID-19 vaccines to African nations; with the continent receiving less than 2% of the total 773 million worldwide-administered doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
A recent report published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) estimates that the US has secured 800 million doses of more than six vaccines in development, and it could buy one billion more. The UK has bought 340 million doses, about five times more for every citizen.
On the fringes of a press event held in Kenya, Dr Samuel Kinyanjui: Country Director of Aids Healthcare Foundation, Kenya decried the fact that “nearly 4 million people are most at-risk in Kenya – but only one million vaccine doses are currently available.”
With a majority of African countries being dependent on COVAX, the World Health Organization (WHO) programme that is meant to ensure poor countries have equitable access to vaccines, the hoarding of vaccines by Serum Institute of India now has the African continent in a bind.
They welcomed the G7 dose sharing commitments for 870 million additional doses for equitable access to vaccines to end the acute phase of the pandemic, while acknowledging their support for COVAX as an apt route for providing vaccines to the low-income countries.