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Africa CDC calls for vaccine production transparency

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for vaccine production transparency – saying poor and developing countries are not receiving enough COVID-19 vaccinations.

Africa CDC Director John Nkengasong was speaking during a media briefing.

He says despite the continent welcoming vaccine donations, countries need to purchase enough vaccines to help fight the pandemic.

“We need transparency in who is producing vaccines and where are the vaccines going to? We heard that some vaccines are not available. Developed countries are vaccinating and achieving higher percentage coverage there. So we don’t know where these are coming from.

We, on the continent, don’t always have access to vaccines so it is not a money issue. Tell us where the vaccines are and we will go buy vaccines for our people on the continent. We welcome all donations but it does not provide us with a long-term solution to solving our problem.”

Less than 3.5% of Africans are vaccinated against COVID-19, far short of its official target of 60%, Nkengasong  said.

World Health Organisation (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said that the continent was being “left behind by the rest of the world” and that this would allow the coronavirus to keep circulating.

Meanwhile, African Union Special Envoy on COVID-19, Strive Masiyiwa said the continent is not relying on vaccine donations.

He says member states are prepared and able to pay for vaccines but are being denied access to the drugs due to export restrictions in several countries.

Masiyiwa was speaking during the weekly World Health Organisation briefing on COVID-19 in Geneva.

Less than 4% of the continent’s population is fully vaccinated, with doses slowly trickling in.

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