Despite the vast disparity in the pace of vaccinations for Covid-19, currently at over 20% having one dose in North America, 5% in the world, and less in 1% for Africa, the United States, other rich countries, and pharmaceutical companies are still rejecting growing demands to waive patents and transfer technology. See chart below and data by country at https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations.
“In prepared remarks Monday [April 5] to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs ahead of meetings this week of international finance officials,” according to the Washington Post, Yellen called on richer countries to step up both economic and public health assistance to poorer nations reeling from covid. She noted as many as 150 million people across the world risk falling into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis.”
“This would be a profound economic tragedy for those countries, one we should care about. But, that’s obvious. What’s less obvious — but equally true — is that this divergence would also be a problem for America,” Yellen said. “Our first task must clearly be stopping the virus by ensuring that vaccinations, testing and therapeutics are available as widely as possible.”
[The full speech, in which Yellen also called for international agreement on a global minimum corporate tax, is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR-2jA1gtOQ
This AfricaFocus includes several recent articles and other links documenting the potential to begin to repair this wide gap. The major barrier is political will on the part of those forces still trying to monopolize vaccinations and profits for themselves.
For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins on Africa’s health, visit
For a March 25, 2021 Zoom webinar on Covid-19 Vaccines for Africa and her diaspora Africans Rising, Advocacy Network for Africa, and Africa and African Diaspora https://fb.watch/4BpZ91RWOb/ Includes updates from the Africa CDC on current status and a wide range of well-informed speakers.