Just giving Africa vaccines isn’t enough to stop more nasty shocks like Omicron

Rich nations are asking Africans to take doses while showing little evidence of solidarity in the other direction

30 November 2021 - 19:55 By David Fickling

How do we ensure that the world has access to the Covid-19 vaccines needed to prevent more variants like the latest Omicron strain from emerging?

One disturbingly common response to calls from the World Health Organisation and others to increase the availability of doses in emerging economies is to suggest supply isn’t really the problem but demand. SA, where Omicron was first identified, provides one data point in favour of this hypothesis. Though barely 24% of the population has been fully vaccinated, the department of health last week asked Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer to suspend delivery of vaccines because its existing stockpile was more than enough at current lacklustre rates of uptake...

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