GABORONE, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Botswana has called for urgent global solidarity to prioritize investment in safe COVID-19 vaccines following revelations that Africa will be the last to receive enough vaccine coverage.
Lemogang Kwape, Botswana's minister of international affairs and cooperation, made the call during his virtual participation in the 148th session of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s executive board.
The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response recently reported that there are great inequalities in the COVID-19 vaccines availability and rollout among and between nations especially those in the developing world.
Kwape said the report indicating that the African region will be the last to receive enough vaccine coverage for public health impact is deeply concerning.
"We therefore call for urgent solidarity to prioritize investment in affordable and safe COVID-19 vaccines and equitable allocation based on the principle of fairness for public health impact," said Kwape.
However, Kwape said Africa remains confident that the WHO secretariat in partnership with other United Nations (UN) agencies and philanthropic organizations will continue to ensure equitable allocation of critical items which include personal protective equipment comprising medical masks, respirators, oxygen concentrators, pulse oximeters, ventilators and other essential biomedical items for clinical care, particularly to low and middle-income countries. Enditem