Von der Leyen supports donating EU vaccines to healthcare workers in Africa

covid-vaccine
The European Commission President said she supported Emmanuel Macron's call to donate vaccines. Photo: AP/Press Association Images.
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Thomson Reuters

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday that she supported French President Emmanuel Macron's call to donate vaccines to healthcare workers in Africa.

"I support President Macron's proposal to donate vaccine doses that are necessary to vaccinate healthcare workers in Africa," Ms von der Leyen said in a webcast for a World Health Organisation (WHO) event.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who also chairs the African Union, said: "Rich countries should donate five per cent of their vaccines to needy countries, particularly on our continent Africa."

It comes as India made its first shipment on Tuesday of a locally made Covid-19 shot to the equitable vaccine distribution network COVAX, which is backed by the WHO.

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The global COVAX scheme intends to ensure fair distribution of supplies of vaccines to protect against Covid-19.

The goal of COVAX is to deliver two billion vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2021, with healthcare workers prioritised initially and then the most vulnerable 20 per cent of people in every participating country, regardless of income level.

The plan has highlighted the challenge of distributing vaccines equitably around the world and stirred accusations of selfish behaviour by some wealthier nations.

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