“A Moral Catastrophe”: Africa CDC Head Says Lack of Vaccines for the Continent Will Imperil World

Countries across the African continent are facing a second COVID-19 outbreak, linked to a variant first found in South Africa that has been detected in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros and Zambia and more than 20 non-African countries so far. There is concern new variants, which scientists believe are more infectious, could spread the virus further before widespread vaccination begins. More than 40 African countries have been hit by this second wave, and just six have received relatively small shipments of vaccines. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the world faces “a moral catastrophe” without vaccine equity. “It has to be very clear that no part of the world will be safe until all parts of the world are safe,” he says. “We either come out of this together or we go down together. There’s no middle ground in this.”

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Countries across the African continent are facing a second COVID-19 outbreak, linked to a variant first found in South Africa that has been detected in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros and Zambia and more than 20 non-African countries so far. There is concern new variants, which scientists believe are more infectious, could spread the virus further before widespread vaccination begins. More than 40 African countries have been hit by this second wave, and just six have received relatively small shipments of vaccines. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the world faces “a moral catastrophe” without vaccine equity. “It has to be very clear that no part of the world will be safe until all parts of the world are safe,” he says. “We either come out of this together or we go down together. There’s no middle ground in this.”


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