Vaccine nationalism a concern, Ramaphosa tells WEF

The world has been in a race to get people inoculated against COVID-19, with African countries yet to join the rolling out of the vaccine.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on 11 January 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday called on countries “hoarding” COVID-19 vaccines to release them to their poorer counterparts.

Ramaphosa delivered a state of the world address at a virtual World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering where he complained that some of the rich countries acquired far more vaccines than needed and were holding onto the access doses.

The president said this did not mean they should be given to poorer countries for free.

The world has been in a race to get people inoculated against COVID-19, with African countries yet to join the rolling out of the vaccine.

Ramaphosa, who is the outgoing African Union chair, told the WEF that the continent through its own vaccine acquisition task team managed to secure a provisional 270 million doses.

He said that vaccine nationalism is a great concern and has the potential to endanger the recovery of all countries.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the majority of African countries were lagging behind when it came to submitting their vaccine rollout plans.

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