The Executive Director of Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, Dr. John Amuasi, says by the time the race for COVID-19 vaccines production ends, Africa will be the last in line to get any vaccine or medicines.
Consequently, he warned, Africa would be the last continent to be considered for vaccination.
He said before the news of any scientific breakthrough gets into public domain, it would have advanced beyond the stage announced to the media.
Speaking at a webinar on ‘Balancing the tripod of a pandemic: The role of government, NGOs and Research Organisations,’ organised by the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium, Amuasi said the picture in Africa concerning the spread of the pandemic had not received special attention because the focus is always on Europe and North America.
“The news is always revolving around North America and Europe. How much of Africa do you hear in the news?
“For Ebola, it was different because they were all pretty safe over there, while the disease raged through Africa.
“I can tell you that the COVID-19 vaccine is also all about North America and Europe. While there are all these talks about access to Africa, we must not kid ourselves.
“We will be the last in line to get any vaccine or medicines. It is just a fact!”
While reiterating that it was not a conspiracy theory, the researcher, who is also a teacher at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, said people should understand that it was the way things work.
“Before news of a potential vaccine or cure gets out there in the public domain, you can be sure that it has gone pretty advanced from where it was coming from. It would have gone far before the rest of the world gets to hear about it.
“When you recognise this, it helps us to approach things in the right perspective.
“This is why many African governments decided to go a bit easy and ease some of the lockdown restrictions,” he said.