The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa urged wealthy countries in a meeting of the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, to stop hoarding excess COVID-19 vaccines that they ordered but are currently not in need of; he said that the world needs to act together to fight the pandemic.
“We need those who have hoarded the vaccines to release the vaccines so that other countries can have them,” President Ramaphosa said.
“The rich countries of the world went out and acquired large doses of vaccines. … Some countries even acquired up to four times what their population needs … to the exclusion of other countries”.
President Ramaphosa, who also happens to be the chairman of the African Union, said African countries needs access to vaccines as well.
Reuters reported that South Africa’s COVID outbreak is the worst in Africa, and the continent as a whole is struggling to secure sufficient vaccines to start countrywide inoculation programmes for its 1.3 billion people.
“We are all not safe if some countries are vaccinating their people and other countries are not vaccinating,” Ramaphosa said. “We all must act together in combating the coronavirus,” he added.