SA President calls out rich countries for hoarding vaccines

Written By: Kalden Ongmu WION
Johannesburg, South Africa Published: Jan 26, 2021, 05:00 PM(IST)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

So far the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquistion Task Team (for African Union) has secured 260 million doses and a further 700 million are expected from Covax

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa called on rich countries for hoarding COVID-19 vaccine doses, to the exclusion of other countries.

“Rich countries in the world are holding on to these vaccines and we are saying release the excess vaccines that you’ve ordered and hoarded,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa, who is also the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) was speaking at the World Economic Forum digital Davos summit on Tuesday. 

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“We are concerned about vaccine nationalism. The rich countries of the world went out and acquired large doses of vaccines from developers and manufacturers of these vaccines. Some countries have even gone beyond and acquired up to four times what their population needs,” the President said. 

“There is just no need for a country which perhaps has about 40 million people goes and acquires 120 million doses of vaccines or even 160 million, and yet the world needs access to these vaccines”, he added. 

Ramaphosa also stressed that the world must act together in combating coronavirus. 

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“We want vaccines as quickly as other countries that have already started. We are all not safe if some countries are vaccinating their people and other countries are not,” he explained. 

So far the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquistion Task Team (for African Union) has secured 260 million doses and a further 700 million are expected from Covax, Ramaphosa said. 

South Africa is set to receive one million doses from the Serum Institute of India by the end of the month and another 500,000 for early next month. The country is targeting vaccinating 40 million South Africans by the end of the year. 

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