To date, fewer than 4% of Africans have been fully immunized and most of the 5.7 billion vaccine doses administered around the world have been given in just 10 rich countries.
COVAX has missed nearly all its targets and has now resorted to begging rich countries to share their vaccine doses.
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of vaccines alliance Gavi, said COVAX expects to have 1.4 billion doses ready for delivery by the end of this year, about one quarter fewer than its original goal.
Afreximbank President Benedict Oramah warned that booster shots in Africa would require $500 million to $600 million more “on the conservative side,” and if the cost of logistics is included, that would mean $1 billion a year.
Strive Masiyiwa, the African Union's envoy for COVID-19 vaccines, also called for export restrictions and intellectual property rights to be lifted to allow vaccine production within Africa.
In June, WHO and its partners launched a hub in South Africa intended to transfer technology needed to make the vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, but none of those companies have yet agreed to share their vaccine recipes.
“It’s not an unreasonable call, because our neighbors in the U.S. supported these companies to produce some of these vaccines,” Masiyiwa said. “Now let this miracle to be available to all mankind.”
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