The Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, has urged African leaders to step up advocacy for an equitable system of distributing COVID-19 vaccines globally.
According to him, the current dispensation is unfair and could leave many countries, particularly in Africa, ravaged by Coronavirus pandemic when a vaccine exists.
Speaking to Citi News, Prof. Sachs, who is also championing a cause for the AU to be given a permanent seat at the G20, underscored the need for fair access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Prof. Sachs also waded into the crisis of vaccine shortage for developing countries and demanded transparency and equity in the distribution of the vaccines, and particularly called on African leaders to strengthen advocacy for access to vaccines.
“I hope that African leaders would raise their voices and say this is not acceptable and insist that we understand that those who developed [the vaccines] fell short and took the early doses but now, [we are] in the second half of 2021 without any clear answers, and we need a plan.”
The inability of African countries to manufacture their own vaccines and the struggle to develop diagnostic test kits when COVID-19 was first recorded in Africa, is a clear indication that more needs to be done to boost quality healthcare delivery on the continent in the face of the pandemic.
Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nana Akufo-Addo, has described as sad, Africa's scramble for COVID-19 vaccines for its people.
He has thus hinted at frantic efforts being made by some member states to produce COVID-19 vaccines .
The ECOWAS Chair says the move is aimed at tackling the situation at hand rather than depending solely on foreign aid.