South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accused developed countries of acting immorally by hoarding vaccines needed in poorer nations.
“Of around 6 billion doses administered worldwide, only 2% of these have been administered in Africa, which has a population of 1.2 billion,” he said in an address to the Global Covid-19 Summit. “This must be unjust and it is also immoral.”
The World Health Organisation has set a deadline for countries to vaccinate 10% of their population by the end of September, but only about 20% of African countries will meet that target. Meanwhile, wealthier nations such as the UK and US have fully vaccinated more than 50% of their populations and are mulling the prospect of booster shots.
Ramaphosa said that while donations are welcome, they have not yet been enough to turn the tide. Developing countries need to be allowed to manufacture and directly procure vaccines, he said.
South Africa has fully vaccinated 20% of it’s adult population and is officially the most affected country on the continent with almost 2.9 million confirmed cases. The official death toll is about 99 000, though estimates are far higher.