French President Emmanuel Macron says he will push for the patent waiver on COVID-19 products at the upcoming G7 meeting next month.
Speaking in Pretoria during his state visit, Macron says the transfer of technology and knowledge is critical in fighting the pandemic.
South Africa and France are fully committed to the progressive development of a multilateral response to global environmental challenges, guided by science and the principles of fairness and equality.#FranceInSA ????#BetterAfricaBetterWorld ?https://t.co/hkTHkIiVzj
— Cyril Ramaphosa ?? #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) May 28, 2021
The waiver was tabled by South Africa and India at the World Trade Organisation.
He says on top of the 30 million doses that France will donate by the end of the year – they will also invest in production capacity.
Ramaphosa, Macron attend a vaccine discussion at UP:
President Cyril Ramaphosa says the continent is willing and able to begin vaccine manufacturing. He says all that’s needed now is the green light for knowledge and technology transfer.
Ramaphosa has called on multinational pharmaceutical companies to reconsider their opposition to the trips waiver. He says 20 years ago, South Africa was sued at the time of the HIV pandemic by manufacturers over access and manufacturing of antiretroviral medication.
The South African President says the world is facing a pandemic that many people are dying and an urgent decision needs to be made, adding that increasing doses of vaccines could be another way of saving lives.
“Allowing all countries to manufacture their own vaccines is not about developed countries or pharmaceutical companies extending their gesture to us. This is a matter of social justice the most important of being the right to life. We must also look at how vaccine manufacturing capacity developed during COVID-19 can be re-purposed for the future production of other vaccines and related technologies.”
Ramaphosa, Macron attend a vaccine discussion at UP – Pt2
Biovac Institute CEO, Dr Morena Makhoana says partnerships are critical in ensuring that enough vaccines are manufactured and distributed in the African continent. He says Biovac has partnered with the government to be part of companies that manufacture vaccines in South Africa.
Speaking at a high-level summit about building capacity to manufacture vaccines held at the University of Pretoria Makhoana says, “We are very happy that we’re able to commence production and shortly after this year we will be doing our second production against pneumonia vaccine.
“These are route vaccines that are important. It is important that our children get vaccines. But it is also important that the facilities get to be sustainable through routine manufacture. This is so that we can upscale when pandemic like this COVID. As we are looking forward to COVID-19 vaccines, I think it is quite important that we recognise firstly that Africa has the capability.”
30 million doses for Africa
Shipping COVID-19 vaccines to Africa is not just a moral duty but it is also in Europe and the world’s interest in order to prevent the resurgence of new virus variants, French President Emmanuel Macron said in Rwanda on Thursday.
He said France was on track to deliver 30 million COVID-19 vaccination doses to Africa by year-end, that Germany would also deliver 30 million doses and that collectively the European Union would deliver more than 100 million doses to Africa this year.
“To help Africa get vaccinated is, first of all, a duty of solidarity, and it’s also quite simply …in the interest of all European countries, all the countries in the world,” said Macron during a visit to a vaccination centre in Kigali on the sidelines of a state visit.
He said that if all countries did not get vaccinations, the virus will continue to spread and develop new variants which then, in turn, may reappear in countries that have already vaccinated their populations.
“Therefore this strategy is not just a moral duty, but a health requirement,” Macron said.
The COVAX facility, backed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), aims to secure 2 billion vaccine doses for lower-income countries by the end of 2021.