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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Macron proposes transferral of country’s vaccines to Africa

By: V4 Agency

The rationale for the proposal is that a significant proportion of the country’s population has family in Africa, so the French head of state feels justified in reallocating a portion of the vaccine stock of rich countries to African countries.

French President Emmanuel Macron has come up with the shocking proposal, which he justified that it is unacceptable that Africa is at a disadvantage in terms of access to coronavirus vaccines, and this striking inequality must be addressed.

The slow pace of the African vaccination campaign was discussed in a video conference between Mr Macron, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Senegalese President Macky Sall, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi and Comoros President Azali Assoumani, France Info reports.

The French head of state believes that the systemic bottleneck in the production and transport of vaccines is the root cause of the disadvantaged position of African countries. Mr Macron is calling for the price of vaccines to be made transparent, as he thinks it is unacceptable that some African countries have access to vaccines at higher prices than western states. According to Emmanuel Macron, the unequal distribution of vaccines is politically unsustainable in the long run because it enables “a war for influence over vaccines,” making the state of global health a political issue.

President Macron has had several meetings in recent days with the WHO Director-General, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as members of the global ACT-A initiative, to facilitate vaccine access around the world.

The French president’s proposal includes transfering 3-5 per cent of the vaccine stock of rich countries to Africa, where they are facing devastating shortages.

In an interview with the British daily Financial Times, Emmanuel Macron said he would present the idea at a meeting of G7 leaders on Friday, and had preliminarily revealed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in agreement on the initiative. The French president insists the transfer of supply would have no negative impact on the domestic inoculation programmes of rich countries, “it won’t delay it by a single day given the way we use our doses,” implying there is sufficient supply available in these states.

Emmanuel Macron justified his proposal on the grounds that it was in the interests of both the French and Europeans, as, “more than 10 million fellow French citizens have relatives on the other side of the Mediterranean.” According to the French head of state, it is necessary to put strong pressure on large pharmaceutical companies to increase vaccine production. Macron aims to get as many European and non-European partners on board as possible. The office of the president has expressed France is definitely committing to Emmanuel Macron’s proposal and will reallocate to African countries 5 per cent of the country’s vaccine stock regardless of further outside support. The vaccine transferral would either be outright donated or sold at a low price to Africa, writes the French daily Le Figaro.

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