Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a visit to the Nairobi National Vaccine Depot on Thursday as the East African nation received its first shipment of just over 1 million AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines the day before.
Several other African countries also received millions of coronavirus vaccines over the last week by way of the Covax facility, run by the World Health Organization (WHO) along with health nongovernmental organisations — including Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, Côte dîvoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Kenyan leader applauded the collective efforts thus far on the continent in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are standing here today barely a few weeks after the most developed countries and beginning our own process of vaccination. Whereas previously we would probably have had to wait years and years while the rest of the world was moving ahead.
“This time around, because of the proactive nature we adopted, because of working together as an African continent, we are barely weeks behind the rest of the world. And I think this is the spirit we need in Africa must continue to adopt until we overcome this disease.”
Vaccine Monopolisation and Hoarding
In a similar sentiment, the WHO has cautioned against the monopolisation of coronavirus vaccines by countries with freer financial means — warning that the global health crisis cannot end unless everyone can inoculate their populations.
The COVAX scheme aims to supply vaccines to dozens of countries in the first 100 days of 2021, and two billion doses by the end of the year — with around 237 million AstraZeneca doses to be delivered by May’s end to 142 participating economies,