By Aiyeku Timothy
The African Union Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Thursday warned African countries that they will be faced with terrible consequences if they go without a coronavirus vaccine.
This statement was made by the Africa CDC Director, John Nkengasong, who said failure by African countries to timely receive the coronavirus vaccines will undermine the continent’s development record and frustrate efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
“It would be extremely terrible for the world to watch Africa not receive the vaccines while some countries have bought the vaccines in excess.
”African countries would have our developmental process challenged if we do not get this vaccine soon,” Nkengasong said.
Nkengasong, therefore stated that having the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines and Moderna vaccines in low-temperature storage facilities for millions of people remains a logistical nightmare.
The Africa CDC official said availing deep freezers in major cities to ensure temperatures of negative 80 degrees are maintained would be part of efforts to deal with the pandemic in Africa.
“Africa has never vaccinated as many as this number required. The coordination is the key issue,” Nkengasong said.
Meanwhile, the former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwela stated that Nigeria and other African countries will have access to the vaccine from the end of January through the first quarter of 2021.
She also disclosed that negotiations are ongoing to ensure the vaccines are accessible to poor countries, just like their rich counterparts.