Africa Is Left Scrambling as Rich Countries Hoard COVID-19 Vaccines

Africa Is Left Scrambling as Rich Countries Hoard COVID-19 Vaccines
A volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine trial receives her second shot at a hospital outside Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 30, 2020 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Andrew Green curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent. Subscribers can adjust their newsletter settings to receive Africa Watch by email every week.

Africa is being left behind in the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. While more than 40 million doses have been administered in almost 50 higher-income countries around the world, most African nations are still waiting for their first vaccines to arrive. They could be waiting a while.

“As the first vaccines begin to be deployed, the promise of equitable access is at serious risk,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week. Speaking at a virtual meeting of the WHO’s Executive Board, he warned that the emerging distribution disparities “will only prolong the pandemic, the restrictions needed to contain it and human and economic suffering.”

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