The Africa Europe Foundation (AEF) has issued a stark reminder that “none of us are safe until all of us are safe” when it comes to COVID-19.
Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Honorary President of the AEF, recently took part in a call to action from the AEF’s High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe Relations, which includes 2020 Amujae Leader Clare Akamanzi and Amujae Coach Vera Songwe.
The High-Level Group reiterated the importance of partnership with regard to global health, and stressed the need to invest in the capacity-building and infrastructure required for the equal distribution of vaccines.
It noted that while some high-income countries have reserved enough vaccine doses to immunize their populations multiple times over, many low-income countries will only be able to protect 10% of their population by the end of 2021, making the possibility of herd immunity in many African countries unlikely this year.
The High-Level Group called on governments and pharmaceutical companies to act quickly to take certain steps to redress this imbalance, including:
“Prioritising sharing surplus doses procured by the EU with Africa in parallel with distribution in EU countries in order to reach the percentage vaccine coverage required for herd immunity.”
Noting that “action on vaccine equity and access will remain central” to its work, the High-Level Group also urged leaders to consider the interconnected nature of today’s societies:
“In the global world we share, ending the pandemic depends on ensuring that vaccines and treatments are available to everyone, regardless of where and how they live.”