CoronavirusHealthNigeria Newspaper

Africa to spend $9 billion on Covid-19 vaccine, access to supply is big problem

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The African continent would need about $9 billion as funding to purchase enough Covid-19 vaccines to curb the spread of the pandemic in the continent.

An African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) official said on Wednesday, that the continent is faced with a bigger problem of having access to the supply of vaccines amid the global race for doses.

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According to Reuters, this disclosure was made by Afreximbank Chief Economist, Hippolyte Fofack, on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, during a media chat.

Fofack said that the Cairo-based bank and other development finance institutions are collaborating with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to obtain vaccines for the novel coronavirus.

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He said that African nations cannot compete with wealthier and more developed economies that have already secured huge supplies of doses from the Covid-19 vaccine developers. Fofack said,

  • If the supply of COVID-19 vaccines is left to (the) market, many developing countries will be essentially rationed out of it, Africa included. The key constraint is the supply of vaccines. Even if Africa had 100 billion dollars, we will not be able to access enough doses.”

The Afreximbank Chief had disclosed that African countries will need to ask wealthy governments for excess vaccines.

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What you should know

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) had warned against a Covid-19 vaccine nationalism, pointing out that richer countries would not remain safe from the pandemic if the poorer nations are left exposed to coronavirus.
  • The UN health agency said it would be in the best interest of the wealthy nations to help every country protect itself against the disease.
  • Afreximbank estimates that Africa will need to spend about $5.8 billion on purchasing vaccines and another $3.3 billion for distribution, to reach the target of vaccinating at least 60% of 1.3 billion Africans with effect from 2021.
  • Some of the funding is expected to come from COVAX, a global alliance co-led by the World Health Organisation that aims to secure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for poor countries.

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