Ramaphosa warns of 'vaccine apartheid'

A man (L) receives a jab containing Pfizer vaccine from a healthcare worker at the Karl Bremer Hospital in Cape Town

Rodger Bosch / AFP

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has again warned of ‘vaccine apartheid’, where rich countries are hogging the COVID-19 vaccine.  

He says it is important to capacitate African countries so that they are able to manufacture their own vaccines.  

"Let us have a waiver for the duration of the pandemic to enable countries to be able to gain capacity to manufacture and produce vaccines," he said.

"Because the vaccine, as we call it nationalism and or vaccine apartheid is working in such a way that only a few are getting the vaccines on an unlimited basis and the countries that need vaccines the most are not getting them."

READ: COVID-19 Vaccine | Concerns raised over rollout

South Africa and India have been lobbying the World Trade Organization for a waiver of some intellectual property rights for vaccines. 

Ramaphosa was speaking during a media briefing with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. 

He is in the country to discuss the global response to COVID-19.


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