South Africa’s Ramaphosa Warns Against ‘Vaccine Apartheid’
Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa's president, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Johannesburg. (Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg)

South Africa’s Ramaphosa Warns Against ‘Vaccine Apartheid’

Vaccines need to be viewed as a global public good and the intellectual property, knowledge, technology and data related to Covid-19 vaccines should be available to all, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his weekly letter.

South Africa and India have recently submitted proposals on the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights that would allow for a temporary waiver of certain aspects of TRIPS. This would mean wider access to the technologies needed to produce vaccines and medicines.

“A situation in which the populations of advanced, rich countries are safely inoculated while millions in poorer countries die in the queue would be tantamount to vaccine apartheid,” Ramaphosa said. “It will set a devastating precedent in our quest to realize a more egalitarian world and our ability to handle future pandemics.”

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