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Africa CDC, IFRC and USAU call for equitable vaccination coverage in Africa

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Africa CDC, IFRC and USAU call for equitable vaccination coverage in Africa

To minimize its socio-economic impacts, which will be felt for many years to come, we must fight the pandemic more aggressively.

ADDIS-ABABA, Ethiopia, September 23, 2021 / APO Group / –

Today, at a high-level event on COVID-19, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the International Federation of Societies of The Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and the United States Mission to the African Union (USAU) called on partners and governments to do more to end immunization inequalities. The event titled “Saving Lives, Saving Livelihoods: Achieving High-Level and Equitable COVID-19 Immunization Coverage in African Union (AU) Member States” was intended to follow up on the Global Summit on COVID-19 summoned by US President Joseph R. Biden. September 22, with local African partners.

Much of Africa’s population is being left behind, even as other parts of the world begin to recover from this deadly pandemic. The deep inequalities in vaccine distribution are also linked to the devastating socio-economic impacts of COVID-19. Economic disruption is expected to persist in Africa due to COVID-19 restrictions and slow vaccine rollouts, according to a report released in April 2021. Disturbingly, Africa faces multiple chronic crises, including poverty and food insecurity, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

The African CDC, IFRC and USAU have warned that in addition to the slow deployment of vaccines, the presence of several crises, including COVID-19, in many African countries is causing continued loss of life and death. means of subsistence. The three institutions have also indicated that it will not be enough to have the vaccine doses alone.

John Nkengasong, Africa CDC Director, said: “As we call for an end to inequalities in immunization, we know the work doesn’t stop there. We also need to be able to deliver these vaccines to communities; making sure people are ready to be vaccinated and that doses are delivered to where they are needed. It is crucial to continue to work more closely with the communities.

The response to COVID-19 has been made more complex by declining perceptions of risk, pandemic fatigue, reluctance to vaccinate and distrust of authorities. The IFRC and Member National Societies fight the spread of disinformation by providing educational materials, organizing radio campaigns and community information lines.

Nena Stoiljkovic, IFRC Assistant Secretary General for Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitization, who joined the high-level summit on COVID-19 from Addis Ababa, said: “More than ever, the pandemic tests our ability to deal with multiple crises at the same time. COVID-19 has pushed thousands of African families into poverty and exacerbated the vulnerabilities of those who already faced multiple threats before this pandemic struck. To minimize its socio-economic impacts, which will be felt for many years to come, we need to tackle the pandemic more aggressively. This means more equitable access to vaccines as a priority. It also means investing in local actors, such as National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, who have been on the front lines of this crisis from the start, building community confidence and resilience for the future. . “

The three institutions reiterated the need to do more to end the pandemic, while preparing to respond to future crises.

Ambassador Jessye Lapenn said: “We [the United States] are working with our international partners, investment entities, pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers to create the kind of global vaccine production and manufacturing capacity and capabilities that will help the world beat this pandemic and prepare us to respond to future threats. “

With growing concerns that the secondary impacts of COVID-19 could have lasting effects across Africa, especially for people living in poverty, the IFRC is placing greater emphasis on supporting livelihoods , in particular through money transfer programs, where appropriate. But the humanitarian organization has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be defeated unless more doses of the vaccine reach the arms of the continent’s most vulnerable.

HE Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of the Republic of Liberia, today delivered a keynote address at the COVID-19 Summit. She said: “Vaccine inequity threatens to reverse the gains we have made in building trusted global partnerships to address global challenges, including the existential threat we all face, namely climate change. and the environmental crisis. There has been a lot of talk, but now we have to see those words turn into action. We call on governments, partners and vaccine manufacturers to do their utmost to ensure that everyone has access to COVID-19 vaccines without further delay. “

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