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Ramaphosa Calls For An End To Vaccine Nationalism

President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on vaccine nationalism to come to an end. The President recently took some time to shed light on the unequal access that developed countries have had to the Covid-19 vaccine. 

The President said countries in the north have been able to vaccinate their citizens while developing countries are still struggling to rollout vaccines.

“Countries of the north, with more developed economies now have vaccinated about 50% of their citizens and having less hospitalisation, while countries in the developing world are still struggling to access vaccines.” the President said.

“It’s not fair that some people because they come from rich countries, their lives are worth much more than lives in poor countries.”

The President wants African countries to produce vaccines locally and eventually make them accessible to other countries in the continent. 

“We just cannot continue to rely on vaccines that are made outside of Africa because they never come or arrive on time and people continue to die.”

He recently revealed that The World Health Organisation (WHO) is in the process of working with South Africa to create a vaccine manufacturing hub.

The vaccine technology transfer hub will be the first of its kind in the continent, giving African the resources to begin manufacturing mRNA vaccines.

The mRNA helps produce antibodies that protect against disease. It is also a key ingredient in the vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. 

“South Africa welcomes the opportunity to host a vaccine technology transfer hub and to build on the capacity and expertise that already exists on the continent to contribute to this effort.”

“This initiative and others will change the narrative of an Africa that is a centre of disease and poor development. We will create a narrative that celebrates our successes in reducing the burden of disease in advancing self-reliance and also advancing sustainable development.” the President said.

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