Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf joins Africa Europe Foundation members in calling for COVID-19 vaccine parity
The Africa Europe Foundation (AEF) has issued a stark reminder that “none of us are safe until all of us are safe” when it comes to COVID-19.
Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Honorary President of the AEF, recently took part in a call to action from the AEF’s High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe Relations, which includes 2020 Amujae Leader Clare Akamanzi and Amujae Coach Vera Songwe.
The High-Level Group reiterated the importance of partnership with regard to global health, and stressed the need to invest in the capacity-building and infrastructure required for the equal distribution of vaccines.
It noted that while some high-income countries have reserved enough vaccine doses to immunize their populations multiple times over, many low-income countries will only be able to protect 10% of their population by the end of 2021, making the possibility of herd immunity in many African countries unlikely this year.
The High-Level Group called on governments and pharmaceutical companies to act quickly to take certain steps to redress this imbalance, including:
“Prioritising sharing surplus doses procured by the EU with Africa in parallel with distribution in EU countries in order to reach the percentage [of] vaccine coverage required for herd immunity.”
Noting that “action on vaccine equity and access will remain central” to its work, the High-Level Group also urged leaders to consider the interconnected nature of today’s societies:
“In the global world we share, ending the pandemic depends on ensuring that vaccines and treatments are available to everyone, regardless of where and how they live.”