The vaccine inequity crisis - free vaccines for Africa!

The vaccination rate against Covid is around 70 % in the European Union while it is 3 % in Africa. In the face of this unfairness, a large number of personalities from the cultural worlds of Africa and Europe are speaking out against the "forces of selfishness and fragmentation".  They are calling on the European Union, in conjunction with international organizations (WHO, AVAT, COVAX), to engage in a policy of free export of vaccines to the most deprived countries.

@FreeVaccinesforAfrica

THE VACCINE INEQUITY CRISIS

The WHO set, at its World Health Assembly held from May 18 to 31, 2021, immunization targets for all countries of the world: 10% of their population at the end of September and 40% at the end of the year 2021. However, the vaccination campaign in Africa barely exceeds the 3% threshold in mid-September. Only 10% of the 900 million doses of vaccines for which the richest countries had committed have been delivered, said, on August 27, the leaders of the WHO, the World Bank and the IMF. Without a rapid turnaround in the countries of Europe and North America, the target of 40% vaccinated by the end of the year becomes unachievable. WHO and IMF warn of a " vaccine inequity crisis". It would be dramatic for Africans and dangerous for Europeans, the weakness of vaccination in the neighboring continent facilitating the proliferation of variants.

161 personalities from the cultural worlds of Africa and Europe, including 2 recipients of the Palme d'Or at the Cannes festival, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne and 4 of the Goncourt Prize, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Mathias Énard, Nicolas Mathieu, Leïla Slimani, with the philosophers Étienne Balibar and Achille Mbembe, are moved by this drama. They are petitioning EU leaders to freeze vaccine imports from Africa and to export free vaccines on a massive scale to Africa.

Bicontinental petition

FREE VACCINES FOR AFRICA

The Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccines produced in South Africa by Aspen Pharmacare are being exported massively to Europe, according to the New York Times.

As citizens of Africa and Europe, we are shocked when the vaccination rate is around 70 % in the European Union while it is 3 % in Africa. We share the bitterness of the African director at the World Health Organization, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, when she declares : « as some richer countries hoard vaccines, they make a mockery of vaccine equity ».

We expect European leaders and parliamentarians:

- To stop Covid vaccine imports from Africa,

- To inform European and African citizens on the quantities of COVD vaccine doses imported and exported between the European Union and non-OECD countries.

We hope that the European Union, in conjunction with international organizations (WHO, AVAT, COVAX), will engage in a policy of free export of vaccines to the most deprived countries. The World Health Organization director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Geybreyesus, has called repeatedly for equitable worldwide distribution of COVID vaccines. As citizens of Planet Earth, in the ordeal facing mankind, we have hope that the spirit of mutual aid, cooperation and sharing will outweigh the forces of selfishness and fragmentation.

161 Signatories from 30 countries of Africa and Europe

Irene Akua AGYEPOENG, professor of medicine, Ghana. Francis AKINDES, sociologist, Ivory Coast. Christophe ALEVÊQUE, humorist, France. Mehdi ALIOUA, sociologue, sociologist, Morocco. AMERICA VZ, author, theater director, Sweden. Nicolas ANCION, author, Belgium and France. Fanny ARDANT, actress, France. Swann ARLAUD, actor, France. Olivier ASSAYAS, film director, France. Athena ATHANASION, anthropologist, Greece. Albena AZMANOVA, political scientist, Bulgaria..

Étienne BALIBAR, philosopher, France. Aristides BALTAS, philosopher, former minister of culture, Greece. Miguel BEISTEGUI, philosopher, Spain. Hélé BEJI, writer, Tunisia. Yadh BEN ACHOUR, lawyer, Tunisia. Tahar BEN JELLOUN, writer, Morocco. Raja BEN SLAMA, psychoanalyst, academic, director of the national library, Tunisia. Kmar BENDANA, historian, Tunisia. Thomas BERNS, philosopher, Belgium. Missida Blandine BILA, anthropologist, Burkina Faso. Mahi BINEBINE, painter, writer, Morocco. Mylene BOTBOL-BAUM, philosopher, Belgium. Geneviève BRISAC, writer, France. Julie BROCHEN, actress, theater director, France. Dominique CABRERA, film director, France. Alexandre CAPUTO, theater director, Belgium. Jacoba CASIER, publisher, Netherlands. Hélène CIXOUS, writer, France. Olivier COHEN, publisher, France. Fanny COTTENÇON, actress, France.

Leyla DAKHLI, historian, Germany. Didier DAENINCKX, writer, France. Evgenii DAINOV, political scientist, Bulgaria. Geneviève DAMAS, writer, actress, Belgium. Anissa DAOUD, actress, movie director, Tunisia and France. Jean-Pierre DARDENNE, filmaker, Belgium. Luc DARDENNE, filmaker, Belgium. Édouard DELRUELLE, philosopher, Belgium. Habib DEMBÉLÉ, actor, director, Mali and France. Alice DESCLAUX, anthropologist, Senegal et France. Arnaud DESPLECHIN, film director, scriptwriter, France. Mamadou DIALLO, epidemiologist, Senegal. Ibrahima Demba DIONE, geographer, Senegal. Dialo DIOP, doctor, Senegal. Moussa DOUNO, researcher in virology, Guinea. Costas DOUZINAS, lawyer, MP, Greece and Great Britain. Claude DUPARFAIT, actor, France.

Paul EDMUNDS, plastician, South Africa. Radhouan El MEDDEB, choregraphe. Tunisia and France. Driss EL YAZAMI, President of the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Support of Human Rights Defenders. Jonas ELKA, writer, Danemark. Mathias ÉNARD, writer, France Vincent ENGEL, writer, Belgium. Karl-Erik ERIKSSON, professor of theoretical physics, glaser. Sweden. Annie ERNAUX, writer, France. Roberto ESPOSITO, philosopher, Italia.

Mabassa FALL, permanent representative of the FIDH to the African Union, Senegal Aurélie FILIPPETTI, writer, former minister of culture, France. Giorgio FONTANA, writer, Italia. Geneviève FRAISSE, philosopher, France. Nathalie FROGNEUX, philosopher, Belgium.

Claudine GALEA, writer, France. Laurence GAVRON, film director, writer, France and Senegal. Mamadou GAZIBO, political scientist, Niger and Canada. Étienne GLASER, theater and opera director, Sweden. Bruno GOOSSE, artist, Belgium. Dominique GRANGE, singer, France. Marie GOUPY, philosopher, France.

Fatoumata HANE, socio-anthropologist, Senegal. Michel HAZANVICIUS, film director, France. Stefan HELGESSON, professor of english, Suède. Charles HELLER, researcher, Switzerland.. Stéphanie HENNETTE-VAUCHEZ, lawyer, France. Elsie HERBERSTEIN, reporter, cartoon drawer, France et Autriche. Gustav Johannes HODER, publisher, Danemark. Goetz HUBER, doctor, Guinea and Germany.

Dan ISRAEL, publisher, Sweden.

Rahel JAEGGI, philosopher, Germany. Christian JOERGES, lawyer, Germany. Stefan JONSSON, writer, professor of ethnic studies, Sweden.

Yasmina KHADRA, writer, Algeria. Sophie KLIMIS, philosopher, Belgium. Michal KOZLOWSKI, philosopher, newsman, Poland. Pierre KROLL, press cartoonist, Belgium.

Abdellatif LAABI, poet, writer, Morocco. Jean-Marie LACLAVETINE, publisher, novelist, France. Justine LACROIX, political scientist, Belgium. Françoise LALANDE, writer, Belgium. Joseph LARMARANGE, demographer, France and Ivory Coast. Frédéric LE MARCIS, anthropologist, France and Ivory Coast. Charles LOOS, pianist, Belgium. Martin LOUME, poster designer, France.

Malika MADI, writer, Belgium. Giacomo MARRAMAO, philosopher, Italia. Luisge MARTIN, writer, Spain. Nicolas MATHIEU, writer, France. Colette MAZURE, writer, Belgium. Achille MBEMBE, philosopher, Cameroon and South Africa. Megan McNAMARA, plastician, cineast, South Africa. Ousmane MBAYE, designer, Senegal. Frits van des MEIJ, publisher, Netherlands. Sandro MEZZADRA, political scientist, Italia. Jacek MIGASINSKI, philosopher, Poland. Ariane MNOUCHKINE, director, France Thomas MÔHLMANN, publisher, Netherlands. Rosa MONTERO, novelist, newswoman, Spain. Sarah MOON, photographer, France. Wajdi MOUAWAD, author, Lebanon. Philippe MSELLATI, doctor, epidemiologist, Ivory Coast.

Mathieu de NANTEUIL, sociologist, Belgium. Antonio NEGRI, philosopher, Italia and France. Kalypso NICOLAÏDIS, political scientist, Greece. Rémy NGOY LUMBU, Vice-President of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Stanislas NORDEY, actor, director, France. Bouderbala NSIRI, doctor, Tunisia.

François OST, president of the Foundation for future generations, writer, Belgium. Isabelle OST, professor of litterature, Belgium. Fatoumata OUATTARA-TRAORÉ, anthropologist, Togo.

Yves de PERETTI, film director, France. Gabrielle PEYRES, anthropologist, Cameroon and France. Jenny PLOCKI, retired teacher, France. Adriano PROSPERI, historian, Italia.

Joanna RAJKOWSKA, artist, Poland. Josep RAMONEDA, newsman, writer, Spain. Philippe REMY-WILKIN, writer, Belgium. Jordi RIBA, philosopher, Spain. Jean-Michel RIBES, director, France. Laurence ROSIER, linguist, Belgium.

Niass SADIKH, human rights activist, Senegal. Jean-Marc SALMON, sociologist, historian, France. Frida SANDSTRÖM, art critic, Danemark. Boualem SANSAL, writer, Algeria. Marta SANZ, writer, Spain. Jean-Pierre de SARDAN, anthropologist, France and Niger. Samba Cor SARR, doctor, Senegal. Annemie SCHAUS, rector of the free University of Brussels, Belgium. Pierre SCHORI, president of the Memorial Olof Palme, Sweden. Peter SCHÜTTER, historian, Germany. Soraya Nour SCKELL, lawyer, Portugal and Germany. Abdou SECK, anthropologist, historian, Senegal. Olivier SÉVÈRE, artist, France. Abderrahmane SISSOKO, film director, producer, Mauritania. Penny SIOPIS, plastician, cineast, South Africa. Leïla SLIMANI, writer, newswoman, Morocco and France. Béatrice SOULÉ, film director, France. Barbara SPINELLI, newswoman, former MEP, Italia. Magdalena ŚRODA, philosopher, writer, former minister, Poland. Vera de STERKE, publisher, Netherlands. Victoria STRAND, doctor, Sweden. Jolijn SWAGER, publisher, Netherlands. Kuba SZREDER, profesor, academy of fine arts, Poland.

TARDI, cartoonist, France. Freddy TSIMBA, plastician, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Nadia URBINATI, political scientist, Italia and United States.

Antoine VAUCHEZ, sociologist, France. José Luis VILLACAÑAS BERLANGA, philosopher, Spain.

Per WÄSTBERG, author, member of the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy, Sweden. Louise WESTERHOUT, writer. poet, South Africa. Sue WILLIAMSON, writer, photographer, plastician, South Africa. Rebecca WILSON, publisher, Netherlands.

Slavoj ZIZEK, philosopher, Slovenia. K. Michel ZONGO, film director, producer, Burkina Faso.

References

Reuters, « U.S. reverses stance, backs giving poorer countries access to COVID vaccine patents »

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/biden-says-plans-back-wto-waiver-vaccines-2021-05-05/

OMS Afrique, « 8 pays sur 10 en Afrique risquent de ne pas atteindre l’objectif fixé pour la vaccination », 02/09/2021

https://www.afro.who.int/fr/news/huit-pays-sur-10-en-afrique-risquent-de-ne-pas-atteindre-lobjectif-fixe-pour-la-vaccination

Reuters, « World has entered stage of « vaccine apartheid »- WHO head », 17/05/2021

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/world-has-entered-stage-vaccine-apartheid-who-head-2021-05-17/

Rebecca Robbins and Benjamin Mueller, « Covid Vaccines Produced in Africa Being Exported to Europe », New York Times, 16/08/2021

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/16/business/johnson-johnson-vaccine-africa-exported-europe.html.

Rebecca Robbins and Benjamin Mueller, « While South Africa Waits for Vaccine Supplies, J.&J. Doses Made there Are Sent to Europe », New York Times, 16/08/2021

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/08/16/world/covid-delta-variant-vaccine/while-south-africa-waits-for-vaccine-supplies-jj-doses-made-there-are-sent-to-europe

Abdi Latif Dahir, « Booster shots « make a mockery of vaccine equity », » the W.H.O. Africa director says », New York Times, 08/19/2021.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/19/world/africa/africa-who-booster-shots.html

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Geybreyesus, discours d’ouverture, Assemblée mondiale de la santé, 24 Mai 2021.

https://www.who.int/director-general/speeches/detail/director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-world-health-assembly---24-may-2021

ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, An agency of the European Union), COVID 19 Vaccine Tracker, Key Figures

https://vaccinetracker.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/vaccine-tracker.html#uptake-tab

IMF, « A Crisis of Vaccine Inequity », Joint Staement of the Multilateral leaders Taskforce on Scaling COVID-19 », 27/08/2021

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2021/08/27/pr21245-joint-statement-multilateral-leaders-taskforce-scaling-covid-tools-crisis-vaccine-inequity

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