G20 members have received 15 times more COVID-19 vaccine doses per capita than sub-Saharan African countries

G20 members have received 15 times more COVID-19 vaccine doses per capita than sub-Saharan African countries
Ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit this weekend, 48 UNICEF Africa ambassadors and supporters unite, calling on countries to deliver doses by December.
NEW YORK, 27 OCTOBER 2021 – G20 countries have received 15 times more COVID-19 vaccine doses per capita than countries in sub-Saharan Africa*, according to a new analysis.

The analysis, conducted by science analytics company Airfinity, exposes the severity of vaccine inequity between high-income and low-income countries, especially in Africa. It found that doses delivered to G20 countries per capita are:
15 times higher than doses delivered per capita to sub-Saharan African countries;
15 times higher than doses delivered per capita to low-income countries;
3 times higher than doses delivered per capita in all other countries combined.

“Vaccine inequity is not just holding the poorest countries back – it is holding the world back,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “As leaders meet to set priorities for the next phase of the COVID-19 response, it is vital they remember that, in the COVID vaccine race, we either win together, or we lose together.”

Wealthy countries with more supplies than they need have generously pledged to donate these doses to low- and middle-income countries via COVAX but these promised doses are moving too slowly. Of the 1.3 billion additional doses countries have pledged to donate, only 356 million doses have been provided to COVAX.

African countries in particular have largely been left without access to COVID-19 vaccines. Less than 5 per cent of the African population are fully vaccinated, leaving many countries at high-risk of further outbreaks.

As leaders prepare to meet for the G20 Summit in Rome this weekend, 48* UNICEF Africa ambassadors and supporters from across the continent have united in an open letter. They are calling for leaders to honour their promises to urgently deliver doses, writing that “the stakes could not be higher.”…

 

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Dear G20 leaders: Vaccine equity is a must for Africa
Vaccine inequity leaves lower income countries – many of them in Africa – at the mercy of COVID-19. Well-supplied countries must urgently deliver the doses they promised.

Many countries in Africa have recently experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases and remain at high risk of further surges. But measures to contain the virus threaten fragile economic growth, and the stability of basic services such as health and education. Children are missing school and already fragile health systems are under increasing strain.

 

People across Africa are signing and sharing an open letter calling on G20 leaders to honor their promises to urgently deliver doses.

“Dear G20 leaders,
At the COVID-19 Summit held at the United Nations recently, world leaders set a target that every country should vaccinate 70 per cent of its population. Many rich countries are on track, yet only a fraction of Africans are fully vaccinated.

This inequity is unjust – and self-defeating. It leaves Africans – and the whole world – at the mercy of the virus. Unchecked, it can create new and more dangerous variants.

Rich nations have pledged to donate over a billion vaccines this year and hundreds of millions more in 2022. This gives us hope. But Africa cannot wait. We need doses now.

 

We call on you to donate doses by December, along with resources to turn vaccines into vaccinations – to train healthcare workers, equip them with personal protection, and the infrastructure to store and transport vaccines. 

The stakes could not be higher. Every day Africa remains unprotected, pressure builds on fragile health systems where there can be one midwife for hundreds of mothers and babies. As the pandemic causes a spike in child malnutrition, resources are diverted from life-saving health services and childhood immunization. Children already orphaned risk losing grandparents. Disaster looms for Sub-Saharan African families, four out of five of whom rely on the informal sector for their daily bread. Poverty threatens children’s return to school, protection from violence and child marriage.

Every day we wait risks a tragic reversal of hard-won development gains.

Remember the relief you felt when you got your first dose, when you could hug your elders, see life get back on track for your children. Africa needs this too.

The path out of the pandemic is clear. But we can only get out together. Please donate doses by December.