African Leaders Highlight Vaccine Inequity in UNGA Speeches

There is a global inequity of the Covid-19 vaccine distribution, something that came into sharp focus at the UN General Assembly this week

World leaders spoke about the global vaccine availability, with leaders of African countries emphasizing how the global community had failed to commit to procuring and securing a globally equitable access to the vaccines. Leaders said that solidarity and cooperation was needed in order to ensure the whole world had access. 

The South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, said that the fact that more than 82 percent of the global vaccine distribution have been acquired by the world’s wealthy countries, while less than one percent has gone to the low-income ones, shows a scathing indictment on the realities of humanity. 

Namibian President Hagers Geingob called the shocking disparity the “vaccine apartheid.” He called out the fact that some countries are now producing a third shot for their vulnerable while other countries have yet to receive their first. 

Angolan President Joao Lourenco said the disparity was shocking, and argued that these vast wealth disparities between countries have allowed for a third shot versus a first shot. 

US President Joe Biden this week pledged to double the purchase of the Pfizer vaccine in order to share it with the world, and vaccinate 70 percent of the global population within the next year.  

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