“We must bring COVAX ahead of queue,” said Dr. Githinji Gitahi during the #COVIDSummit
US president Joe Biden hosted a virtual vaccine summit on Wednesday titled: Global COVID-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better Health Security to Prepare for the Next. This summit coincided with the United Nations leaders’ meetings in a bid to marshal more aid to developing nations where inoculations, treatments and supplies remain scarce. President Joe Biden called on other countries to help vastly expand production and availability of coronavirus vaccines and treatments in order to end the Covid-19 pandemic.
The summit was attended by Heads of State and international, business, philanthropic and non-governmental leaders to identify concrete actions and set ambitious targets needed to achieve the goal of ending the pandemic.
The US President pledged 500 million more vaccine doses to developing countries.
The World Health Organisation has set a minimum target of 40% vaccine coverage in every country by the end of 2021.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his remarks, emphasized the need to come up with a sustainable plan on how developing countries will be supported, not only to meet targets around vaccination, oxygen, diagnostics, personal protective equipment but also for manufacturing. He added that the gulf was widening between better-resourced nations who are buying up and even hoarding vaccines and developing countries who are struggling to have access to vaccines, noting the pandemic has revealed the full extent of the vaccine gap between developed and developing economies and how that gap can severely undermine global health security.
In his submission, Dr. Githinji Gitahi, the Global Chief Executive Officer of Amref Health Africa echoed the need to not only create a new global architecture but to strengthen what already exists noting that science and resources needed to go to the lowest possible level with community ownership for accountability using existing mechanisms.
He reiterated the need for a people centre equitable health system everywhere, committing to COVID-19 commodities security for everyone by ending stockpiles and limiting boosters and ensuring scaling up of manufacturing globally, sharing technology through multiple available mechanisms including Intellectual Property waivers, and providing adequate financing.
Leaders in the summit agreed that cooperation, collective action and above all consensus, is the greatest strength in the current crisis, and will continue to be so in the future.
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