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WHO urges Int. Communities to ensure Africa's equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in future

WHO urges Int. Communities to ensure Africa's equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in future

July 10, 2020

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and immunization experts have called on the International Community to take concrete actions in ensuring that African countries ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines once developed.

WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo made the call in a statement made available on its website.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa in the statement said that equity must be the central focus as the international community comes together to develop safe and effective

“Too often, African countries end up at the back of the queue for new technologies, including vaccines. These life-saving products must be available to everyone, not only those who can afford to pay.”

WHO and partners launched the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator to speed up the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

It brings together leaders of government, global health organisations civil society groups, businesses and philanthropies to form a plan for an equitable response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO is also collaborating with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to ensure a fair allocation of vaccines to all countries.

The collaboration is aimed at delivering two billion doses globally for high-risk populations, including one billion for low and middle-income countries.

According to the statement, the African Union has endorsed the need for Africa to develop a framework to actively engage in the development and access to COVID-19 vaccines.

“Countries can take steps now that will strengthen health systems, improve immunisation delivery, and pave the way for the introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“These include: mobilising financial resources; strengthening local vaccine manufacturing, and regulatory, supply and distribution systems; building workforce skills and knowledge; enhancing outreach services; and listening to community concerns to counter misinformation.’’

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