Poor countries pay twice as much as the EU – Africa has criticised the West’s approach to vaccine distribution

People in African countries continue to die from the coronavirus as the US, Canada and countries in Europe stockpile vaccines far beyond their populations

Poor countries pay twice as much as the EU - Africa has criticised the West's approach to vaccine distribution

South Africa’s representative to the World Trade Organisation, Mustakim De Gama, has called for a fight against the unfair policies being pursued by the West.

“While Rome is burning, we are fiddling”, –  he said, calling on the US and EU to stop blocking patent waivers for vaccine production.

Earlier, dozens of developing countries had proposed an intellectual property rights circumvention mechanism that would allow more vaccines to be produced and therefore defeat the coronavirus more quickly. This is necessary because rich countries have bought more vaccines than they need and the poor will not be able to provide mass immunisations until 2024 because of this.

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De Gama believes that more structural changes are needed in the current situation so that countries can produce their own vaccines instead of relying on company or intermediary terms. In this regard, he pointed to the recent case where a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine was sold to South Africa at a price double that paid by European countries.+

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