Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has criticized what he calls “hypocrisy and double standards” in the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
The World Health Organization (WHO) director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that deals between rich nations and vaccine manufacturers had made it hard to acquire vaccines for its Covax initiative.
The @WHO Director-General has said that deals between some high-income countries and manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines are undermining its COVAX initiative by reducing the number of doses it can purchase.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) February 23, 2021
The Covax is an initiative meant to ensure equitable distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine across all countries.
The first batches of 600,000 doses under the Covax initiative arrived in Ghana on Wednesday.
Ghana became the first African country thus to benefit from the initiative.
But wealthy nations have been accused of hoarding vaccines making it hard for poor ones to access any.
In reaction to comments from the WHO director-general President Kagame said “This is hypocrisy& double standards we have always talked about. Just one of the many and consequential examples!”
This is hypocrisy& double standards we have always talked about. Just one of the many and consequential examples!!! https://t.co/pNUsQgZiZm
— Paul Kagame (@PaulKagame) February 23, 2021
President Paul Kagame this month accused the West of hoarding Covid-19 vaccines and “purchasing many times more doses than they need.”
In an opinion article published on the news website The Guardian, the outspoken African leader “the current situation with regard to the access and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines vividly illustrates the decades-old contradictions of the world order.”
“Rich and powerful nations have rushed to lock up supply of multiple vaccine candidates,” Kagame said adding that “leaves African and other developing countries either far behind in the vaccine queue, or not in it at all.”
A coalition of campaign groups, People’s Vaccine Alliance, has said that nearly 70 lower-income countries will only be able to vaccinate one in 10 people.
Pharmaceutical corporations working on Covid-19 vaccines has been asked by these campaigners to openly share their technology and intellectual property so that billions more doses can be manufactured and made available to everyone who needs them.