Merkel urges ‘fair’ distribution of coronavirus jabs

Developed countries have so far only approved vaccines by Western makers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. — Reuters pic
Developed countries have so far only approved vaccines by Western makers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. — Reuters pic

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BERLIN, Jan 26 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged a “fair” distribution of coronavirus vaccines across the world today, warning that the memories of countries left out in the race for the life-saving jabs would persist.

“Money is one thing, but the other thing in a time of scarcity is the availability of the vaccine. Here it’s about a fair distribution, and not about a question of money,” she told an online forum.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, the question of who gets which vaccine in the world will of course leave new wounds and new memories because those who get such emergency help will remember that.”

Amid a global scramble for the jabs, countries particularly in the developing world are increasingly having to weigh up diplomatic and logistical considerations as they place their vaccine orders.

While developed countries have so far only approved vaccines by Western makers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, many in the developing world have turned to China’s Sinopharm or Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday lashed out at “vaccine nationalism,” accusing rich countries of bulk-buying coronavirus vaccines and hoarding them to the detriment of others. — AFP

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